Chester Bennington – The Voice of Our Hearts

On Thursday July 20 one report after another came flooding in reporting that LINKIN PARK vocalist Chester Bennington had committed suicide. With no official statement to go by, fans were holding onto the fact it might have been another sick internet hoax, that was until Mike Shinoda sent out just a simple tweet to say it was true and he was heartbroken.

Everybody just seemed to go into a daze, there were posts about how he was an inspiration and he was. He was only 41 but he lived a very full life of giving hope to a lot of people through his music. An entire generation of people will have held LINKIN PARK a lot closer to their hearts than perhaps some others, they grew up alongside the music and felt similar or the same angst that was being delivered in the bands music.

That’s one of the most important things about what Chester did for us as not just a musician but as a man, he helped be a voice for so many people who didn’t have one and that is why it is possibly one of the saddest deaths to have encountered in a long time for us to get over. The man who give us such a voice and sang, screamed and yelled the words we were feeling had given up his own fight.

This isn’t to keep highlighting on the way Chester died as opposed to what he did for us but we HAVE to talk about suicide. It’s the darkest thing to encounter and it doesn’t matter what side of it you’re on, it’s evil. The person feeling suicidal, who has attempted or committed suicide isn’t evil, it’s the sadness that holds your tongue and blurs your vision that is. LINKIN PARK posted a tribute page with a suicide prevention number on and earlier today posted a touching tribute to him and at the end have urged people to visit the page and speak if they need it – if there is one good thing to come out of this, it is that people use it and Chester can continue to save others the way he had done throughout his career.

Chester Bennington had a way with the music he made, he was a light in many ways and it wasn’t just helping people with their battles, it was helping people discover a whole new side to the music they loved. LINKIN PARK are one of those bands you think about and remember their collaborations with Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Stormzy and more, they influenced people to stop sticking to norms of genre barriers and give in to a little bit of everything that inspired then. It was a bit touch and go when there was such a hip-hop evolution in the nu metal scene but it quickly took the hearts of everyone and really united the music scene.

For a debut and such an experimental sound to be breaking out Hybrid Theory had every listener’s attention, evidently as it still continues to hit charts with sales and is the album that everyone goes to. Three years later came Meteora and the success was still on the rise for LINKIN PARK, they got into our hearts so quickly and even as their sound developed into a more softer electronic vibe they continue to still have the same effect and that proved the point that it didn’t matter how they was delivering their music it was still sending a valuable message to the people who listened, it was and continues to still offer something to lean on just as much as Hybrid Theory and Meteora did.

The demons were still there in the music and as LINKIN PARK said in their emotional tribute to Chester – “It was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human.” There were very open things that Chester spoke about regarding his own demons but it’s how he was so open with them that helped with how people saw the band as something to be able to connect with and despite all of its darkness, that is something magical and cannot be tainted.

It wasn’t just in LINKIN PARK that showed us how truly wonderful Chester Bennington was to us in the music industry, he chased his dreams. STONE TEMPLE PILOTS were amongst one of his much loved bands and there he was suddenly one day in 2013, fronting a band that had inspired him to do what he did, the achievement in that alone is that he lived one of his better dreams, something we could all push for a little bit more. DEAD BY SUNRISE was another of his earlier projects in 2005.

He was the voice of a generation, he was the voice for millions of people out there who struggled to find the words. There was a lot of light in the darkness that surrounded Chester Bennington and LINKIN PARK and right now it might feel like that isn’t true but as long as he is continued to be heard, it is true. He will always remain the burning light that helped guide many ways in life.

Chester Bennington, you and your voice will never be forgotten – March 20 1976 – July 20 2017



Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK

Samaritans – 116 123 (UK) 116 123 (ROI)

PAPYRUS – 0800 068 41 41

Jessica Howkins

Co Editor-in-Chief for Distorted Sound Magazine, Music Journalism student.