This hit him harder than anyone realized.
As we reported, Linkin Park‘s front man Chester Bennington was found dead on Thursday after killing himself via hanging. The Numb singer’s suicide was not only committed almost exactly the same way as Chris Cornell‘s, but it was also what would have been his close friend’s 53rd birthday.
In a Radio.com interview with Bennington’s band mate Mike Shinoda shortly after the passing of Cornell, the musician described Chester’s powerful reaction to the Soundgarden artist’s passing.
Shinoda said in May that Cornell’s death hit Bennington, who sang Hallelujah at Chris’ funeral, pretty hard.
“We were booked to play the show so that we could promote our new single ‘Heavy’ and then we heard the news about Chris Cornell and had had a little pow-wow in the dressing room before we went on and we said, ya know, the things that good for the band to do is play ‘Heavy,’ but the right thing to do is play ‘One More Light’ because it’s about the loss of a friend.'”
The 40-year-old went on to remember Chester not being able to get through the performance:
“When we were doing a sound check, Chester couldn’t even make it through the song, he was getting halfway through and getting choked up. And even when we did play the whole song, and it was live on TV, or taped for film for TV, he kind of just stopped like towards the end like he missed the last couple lines, just couldn’t finish the song.”
And the audience certainly felt the singer’s pain, too. Shinoda added:
“Fans were crying in the audience, and I think it was cathartic, I think it was good. The message of the song is when you are dealing with something so deep as losing a friend, or in this case somebody you just admire, somebody you look up to when we’re talking about some of these fans in the audience… one of the things I think you can do is reach out to people and offer them community, let them know we’re a family, we’re community, we care about each other. Whether a friend who lost somebody, a family member or whatever, to reach out and let them know even that you’re thinking about them, sometimes that’s enough.”
Sadly, music did not help Bennington get through it; he ended his own life just two months later.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the musician’s loved ones during this tragic time.
[Image via Nicky Nelson/Carsten Windhorst/WENN.]