LOS ANGELES: Chester Bennington, the lead singer of rock band Linkin Park, was found dead on Thursday at his southern California home in an apparent suicide, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said.
Coroner’s office spokesman Brian Elias said his office had been notified by law enforcement of the death of Bennington, 41, on Thursday morning. Elias said the death was being handled as an apparent suicide.
Celebrity website TMZ, citing law enforcement sources, said Bennington had hung himself at his Palos Verdes home near Los Angeles.
Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda tweeted “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Bennington had a history of alcohol and drug abuse. He had spoken openly in the past about his struggles to overcome his demons when Linkin Park first found success in 2000 with the album “Hybrid Theory.” But in 2011 he said he had been sober for six years.
The band’s latest studio album, “One More Light,” was released in May, and Linkin Park embarked on a world tour.
Bennington’s death came a week before the band was due to kick off the U.S. leg of its tour on July 27 in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
Bennington, who was twice married and had six children, was a close friend of Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell, who committed suicide in Detroit in May.
Fans noted on Thursday that Bennington had apparently taken his own life on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.
Bennington posted an emotional note on his social media accounts after Cornell’s death. “I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your family,” he wrote.
Linkin Park’s debut album “Hybrid Theory” included hits such as “In the End,” “One Step Closer” and “Crawling,” which won a Grammy award in 2002 for best hard rock performance.
The band experimented with rock, metal and rap, most notably collaborating with Jay-Z in 2004 on the “Collision Course” album. The album, a mash-up of the rapper’s hits with Linkin Park songs, included “Numb/Encore,” which won a Grammy award in 2006 for best rap/sung collaboration.
The band has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide.