Who cares if one more light goes out? / In a sky of a million stars, croons Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington on their recent song “One More Light”, only to follow up saying I do, a few lines later. That song, and many others throughout the band’s experimental and influential twenty plus years, have left their mark on millions of people and have been the light at the end of the tunnel. Linkin Park has been a band that many say help them through their depression, myself included. But sadly, Chester couldn’t get past that, and he committed suicide on July 20th, 2017.
It’s surreal to wake up to a notification saying the lead singer of your band is dead. Suicide, the article said, he hung himself. I couldn’t believe it when I was reading the first of many notifications that would appear on my phone and in the days following. I was in the car, and I tried everything in my power not to break down crying immediately. None of our local rock radio stations were playing Linkin Park, so I grabbed my phone and put them on shuffle. I was just numb, and couldn’t believe that Chester was no longer with us; that the person who was apart of the band and sung the songs that helped me through so much, was no longer with us. It felt surreal.
Chester was apart of Linkin Park from 1999 until his death in July 2017, but more importantly besides being the front man of a band, he was just a normal man who had fame thrust upon him. He had a family, and his own demons he dealt with throughout his childhood. His parents were divorced, and he developed a heavy drug problem soon after, but eventually overcame it. He used art and writing as an escape method, leading him to start turning his poetry into songs. But sadly his demons never completely left, leading him to commit suicide by hanging himself on what would’ve been close friend Chris Cornell’s birthday.
Linkin Park has a career spanning twenty odd years, including 17 years with the actual band name Linkin Park, and including seven studio albums among numerous other recorded endeavors. Even if someone wasn’t a fan of their constantly changing sound, there was a good chance that they at least knew one or two songs. But for the dedicated fans, Linkin Park was more than just a band. They were the light at the end of the tunnel, a shoulder to lean on, a cry in the ever-changing world that made them feel less alone. People connected and resonated with their lyrics about depression and life and everything it entails.
Chester Bennington will never be forgotten. He, and his bandmates that made up Linkin Park, will never be forgotten. Their music means so much to so many, and even as their lights may go out, their spirits and music and meaning will always be lit for those who need it.