How Did Chester Bennington Die? His Tragic Suicide

how did chester bennington die famous people who committed suicide chester bennington in a white tank leaning down on stage as he sings into a mic
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Just because someone seems happy and thriving on the outside doesn’t mean that everything is perfect on the inside, proving that you never know what’s going on in a person’s mind and heart. Thus was the case for Linkin Park’s own Chester Bennington, who tragically passed away in 2017. 

How did Chester Bennington die? Find out that and more below. 

How Did Chester Bennington Die?

Chester Bennington’s cause of death was suicide by hanging.

It is believed that part of the reason for his tragic choice was the pain of losing his close friend Chris Cornell, who, like Chester Bennington’s cause of death, died by a suicidal hanging. Bennington committed suicide on what would have been the recently deceased’s 53rd birthday. 

Bennington and Cornell first met in the mid-2000s on a shared tour that was only strengthened during Chester Bennington’s tour with Linkin Park, the 2007-2008 Projekt Revolution Tour. During the tour, Cornell had Bennington join him on stage to sing “Hunger Strike” by Temple of Dogs, and Bennington returned the favor when Cornell joined on Linkin Park’s song “Crawling.” 

The pair were so close that Bennington was named godfather of Cornell’s son, Christopher Nicholas, born in December 2005. After Cornell’s suicide, Bennington was said to be extremely emotional over the ordeal and could barely finish singing “One More Light” in his late friend’s honor during a Jimmy Kimmel Live! performance. He had previously been unable to finish the song during a rehearsal of the song, which had been replaced by the initially planned performance of Linkin Park’s song, “Heavy.” 

He followed up the May 18, 2017, performance in honor of Cornell with a performance of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen at Chris Cornell’s funeral in Los Angeles on May 26, 2017. 

When Did Chester Bennington Die?

Chester Bennington passed away on July 20, 2017. 

He was survived by his wife, Talinda Bentley, and his six children. He was also survived by his parents and three half-siblings, numerous extended family members and friends. 

chester bennington performing on stage in all black
Image from Shutterstock.

How Old Was Chester Bennington When He Died?

Chester Bennington was only 41 years old when he passed away. 

Related: Linkin Park Singer, Chester Bennington Commits Suicide at 41

Where is Chester Bennington Buried?

While it’s unclear where Chester Bennington is buried, it is known that he was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family. 

Chester Bennington’s funeral was held at the South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes on July 29, 2017. 

Chester Bennington’s funeral service was a private affair, with only his family, close friends, and Linkin Park bandmates in attendance. Keeping his musical life a theme throughout the service, all of the more than 500 memorial service guests received a yellow wristband and pass with the late singer’s picture on it. 

Several musicians performed at the service, including a rendition of “Amazing Grace” performed by Robert and Dean DeLeo, Bennington’s former Stone Temple Pilots bandmates, as well as Matt Sorum, drummer of Kings of Chaos, Jimmy Gnecco, and Damon Fox. 

Who Inherited Chester Bennington’s Money?

Chester Bennington’s estate was worth about $30 million at the time of his death. With that in mind, many wondered what Chester Bennington’s will said about who would inherit his money. 

According to Chester Bennington’s will, which was revealed on October 24, 2017, by TMZ, Chester Bennington’s estate and some of his assets, including his retirement account, were left to his wife, Talinda Bennington. His other assets were to be put into the Chester and Talinda Bennington Family Trust, which they created in 2007 and updated in 2009.

Talinda was also made the executor of Chester Bennington’s will, meaning she has “the power to license, sell and renew copyrights, deal generally with royalty interests as any other property, and the power to incur the costs of preparing for publication of any works not published by me at the date of my death,” the deceased wrote. 

Chester Bennington’s will also stated that Chester Bennington’s children were to have regular meet-ups with their father’s extended family “so that my children know that they have a large and loving family.” 

What Were Chester Bennington’s Last Words?

While we are unsure what Chester Bennington’s final last words were, it almost feels as if the open letter he wrote to his late friend, Chris Cornell, on social media was also his suicide note to the world. 

His post, published on the day of Cornell’s funeral, said: “I dreamt about the Beatles last night. I woke up with Rocky Raccoon playing in my head and a concerned look on my wife’s face. She told me my friend has just passed away. 

“Thoughts of you flooded my mind, and I wept. I’m still weeping with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family. You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known,” the letter heartbreakingly continued. “Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that.” 

The letter further noted: “I just watched a video of you singing, ‘A Day in the Life’ by the Beatles and thought of my dream. I’d like to think you were saying goodbye in your own way. I can’t imagine a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life. I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.” 

Related: 23 Famous People Who Committed Suicide

Who Was Chester Bennington?

Chester Bennington was best known for being the lead vocalist of the rock band Linkin Park, as well as for other bands such as Grey Daze, Dead by Sunrise, and Stone Temple Pilots. 

When Was Chester Bennington Born?

Chester Bennington’s birthdate was March 20, 1976. 

Chester Bennington’s Zodiac sign was Pisces, indicating that he was dreamy, mystical, and empathetic. 

Where Was Chester Bennington From?

Chester Charles Bennington was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. 

chester bennington with his wife on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Where Did Chester Bennington Live?

At the time of Chester Bennington’s death, he was living in the Palos Verdes Estates of California. 

Chester Bennington’s Ethnicity

Chester Bennington was American. It is unclear whether he had any other ethnic backgrounds in his family tree. 

How Tall Was Chester Bennington?

Chester Bennington’s height was approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall. 

How Much Did Chester Bennington Weigh?

Chester Bennington’s weight was around 165 pounds. 

How Did Chester Bennington Become Famous?

While Chester Bennington had already been performing regularly in the music scene since 1992, he didn’t first gain national recognition until the release of Linkin Park’s album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, debuting Chester Bennington to the world.

His popularity only continued to grow after that album, which was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America, with the release of its follow-ups like Meteora (2003), A Thousand Suns (2010), and One More Light (2017).

Along with his work as lead vocalist with Linkin Park, he was also famed for making nu-metal a global phenomenon, with Dan Weiss of Billboard crediting Bennington for turning “nu-metal universal.”

While still with Linkin Park, Bennington took on several side projects, including creating the band Dead by Sunrise in 2005 and releasing their debut album, Out of Ashes, four years later. He also took on the role as lead vocalist of Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 and remained with them until 2015, under their personal record label Play Pen.

Bennington also delved into acting on occasion. Some of the most notable of Chester Bennington’s movies are Crank (2006), Crank: High Voltage (2009), and Saw 3D (2010).

Chester Bennington’s Children

Chester Bennington was the father of six children. 

Chester Bennington’s son, Jaime, was born on May 12, 1996. 

Next came Draven Sebastian, born on April 19, 2002. In 2006, he became the father of three boys when he adopted Isaiah Brand, the second son of Elka Brand, who was Jaime’s mother. Isaiah Brand was born on November 8, 1997. 

In 2006, Bennington also welcomed his fourth son, Tyler Lee Bennington, on March 16.

Five years later, the family was rounded out with Chester Bennington’s daughters, twins Lily and Lila, coming into the world on November 9, 2011. 

chester bennington on the red carpet with his wife and kids
Image from Shutterstock.

Chester Bennington’s Siblings

Chester Bennington had three half-siblings, an older half-brother, Brian Bennington, and two older half-sisters, names unknown. Not much is known about any of his siblings except that Chester Bennington’s brother is a police officer like their father and that the two were fairly close as adults. 

Who Was Chester Bennington Married To?

At the time of Chester Bennington’s death, he was married to Talinda Ann Bentley, whom he married in 2006. Bentley, a former Playboy model, is the mother of Bennington’s three youngest children. 

During the early part of their marriage, Bennington and Bentley experienced harassment from a cyberstalker. The stalker was eventually charged and found guilty in 2008 of tampering with the pair’s email and additional personal information and sending them threatening messages, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison. 

Talinda wrote in a statement a week after Bennington’s suicide, “My babies are so young to have lost their daddy. And I know that all of you will help keep his memory alive. He was a bright, loving soul with an angel’s voice. And now he is pain free, singing songs in all of our hearts. May God Bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain. Chester would’ve wanted us to do so. Rest In Peace, my love.” 

Before his marriage to Bentley, Bennington’s first marriage was to his wife, Samantha Marie Olit, whom he married on October 31, 1996, and remained with until their divorce in 2005 after their union started to decline during Linkin Park’s early years. Olit was the mother of his third son, Draven Sebastian. 

Bennington also had a relationship with Elka Brand, the mother of his two oldest sons. The pair were never married, however. 

Chester Bennington’s Parents

Chester Bennington was the son of Susan Elaine Johnson and Lee Russell Bennington. His mother was a nurse, and his father was a police detective who specialized in investigating child sexual abuse cases. 

The latter is ironic, considering that when Bennington was seven, he was sexually abused by a male friend. The abuse continued for five years because Bennington was afraid to reveal the abuse to anyone because of fear that he wouldn’t be believed or that he would be looked at as gay. It was only years later that he revealed the name of his abuse to his father, but no charges were pressed. 

Bennington was 11 when his parents divorced. That and his many years of sexual abuse reportedly gave him an urge “to kill everybody and run away,” but drawing pictures and writing songs and poetry supposedly provided comfort for himself. 

After the divorce, his father was granted custody. Bennington’s life, however, was still not smooth even after the abuse stopped. He regularly started to abuse alcohol and multiple drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, meth, opium, and LSD. He also experienced bullying in high school, later revealing in an interview that he would always get “knocked around like a rag doll at school for being skinny and looking different.” 

He was 17 when he moved in with his mother, but his drug use continued. 

Chester Bennington’s Tattoos

Chester Bennington didn’t just sport numerous tattoos. He was considered a tattoo enthusiast as he was both a worker and promoter of the Tempe, Arizona tattoo parlor Club Tattoo, which was owned by his high school friend and former bandmate Sean Dowdell. 

Personally, his chest and arms were covered in vibrant, colorful tattoos, including flames down both his arms and other highly detailed designs. Other arms tattoos include his colorful Pisces, representing his birthday, and a Japanese Koi Fish to represent luck and good fortune. Finally, his arms were complete with his pirate and skull tattoos. 

His chest tattoo featured a rose with several initials inside banners, believed to represent the initials of his six children as well as his second wife, Talinda Bennington. This flows out into two dragons on either shoulder. 

Bennington also sported tattoos on his back, including the name of his band, “LINKIN PARK,” spelled out in goth letters, on his lower back, and more dragon tattoos on his upper back. 

Dragons seem to be the most prominent theme around his tattoos, as another large green dragon was designed down his lower right leg, while his left lower leg had a tattoo of a small fairy on it. 

He has said of his multiple tattoos: “Tattoos exude pain and pleasure all at the same time.” 

What Illnesses Did Chester Bennington Have?

Chester Bennington was plagued by poor health and injuries during the latter part of his life. The first illness came in the summer of 2003 while recording Chester Bennington’s album with Linkin Park, Meteora, making it difficult for him to be present for recording sessions.

Later, while filming in Prague for the “Numb” music video, he was forced to return to the U.S. and undergo surgery for extreme abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues. 

His next ordeal came in 2007 when he broke his wrist after he attempted to jump off a platform during a show at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. After the show, which he continued on with, he also received five stitches. 

2011 brought more injury and illness, which forced Linkin Park to reschedule two and cancel three shows from Linkin Park’s A Thousand Suns World Tour. While in Asia on the tour, he also had to undergo immediate shoulder surgery after injuring it, which forced them to cancel the closing performance at Pensacola Beach, Florida. 

Prior to this, his drug and alcohol use, which began when he was a teenager, continued. The substance abuse struggle was also accompanied by a battle with depression, the former of which he eventually overcame. He also overcame his struggle with alcoholism, later saying in a 2011 interview, “I just don’t want to be that person anymore.” 

His final plague of injuries came in January 2015, when he hurt his ankle while playing basketball. While he tried to overcome it, using crutches and a knee scooter to get around, he eventually had surgery to fix the problem, causing Linkin Park to cancel shows of yet another tour while he recovered. 

Related: 20 Powerful Songs About Addiction to Help You on the Road to Recovery

Did Chester Have a Mental Illness?

Chester Bennington suffered from depression throughout his life. It is reasonable to perceive that part of that struggle came from his childhood traumas, including his sexual abuse, bullying experiences, and his parent’s divorce. 

Related: 20 Songs About Depression to Help You Through the Dark Days

How Many Baby Mamas Did Chester Bennington Have?

Chester Bennington had three different “baby mamas” among his six children. The mother of his two oldest sons was Elka Brand. 

The mother of Chester Bennington’s third son was Samantha Marie Olit. 

The mother of his fourth son and his twin daughters was Talinda Ann Bentley. 

What Band Was Chester Bennington When He Died?

Chester Bennington was still a vital member of the band Linkin Park at the time of his death. 

After his death was announced, Linkin Park subsequently canceled the rest of the band’s One More Light World Tour, and all tickets for the rest of the shows were refunded to fans. 

Following Chester Bennington’s death, Dave Phoenix Farrell, bassist of Linkin Park, shared an emotional Twitter message to fans. “It goes without saying, this last week has been extremely difficult. The outpouring of love and kindness I’ve received from friends and from all over the world has been incredible.”


No matter who it is, death by suicide is always the most heartbreaking as friends and family realize that their loved one felt like there was no other choice. In the case of Chester Bennington, however, his legacy, no matter what will continue to live on. 

Additionally, while also paying tribute to the late “Home Sweet Home” singer, many fellow artists have been an advocate of anti-suicide. The most notable of which came at the 60th annual Grammy Awards during the in memorian tribute. The tribute featured rapper Logic, alongside Alessia Cara and Khalid, performing the song “1-800-273-8255” in memory of both Bennington and Chris Cornell, the title of which is the phone number of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. 

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Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


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