SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The entertainment world is reacting to the sudden passing of Linkin Park’s lead singer, who was found dead in Southern California Thursday morning. Chester Bennington was just 41-years-old. His death is being investigated as a suicide.
Linkin Park was supposed to perform October 18 at the SAP Center in San Jose, part of their “One More Light” album tour. Bay Area fans are in shock and in mourning.
Condolences are pouring in from all over the music industry over the death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. His bandmate Mike Shinoda tweeting “shocked and heartbroken, but it's true.”
Bennington's body was discovered at his Los Angeles home. TMZ reports he hanged himself.
“I was devastated,” said Sandra Magana of Sunnyvale. “I called my sister crying. I can't believe it, he was only 41.”
Bennington was with the rock band for two decades. They first became big in the late 1990s, landing six number one albums.
“He was just an engaging frontman,” said Pop Music Critic Jim Harrington. “He definitely knew how to entertain the crowd, really seemed to care, what he did really seemed to matter to him.”
Harrington from the Mercury News remembers seeing Linkin Park at the Fillmore in San Francisco in 2001. He interviewed Bennington five years ago.
“I definitely did not see this coming,” said Harrington. “It's not like he had been in the news with problems and continuing to have things happen sort of like an Amy Winehouse or something like that. God rest her soul.”
However, Nick Veronin, music and arts editor from Metro Silicon Valley isn't too surprised, recalling the singer had opened up about past struggles with drugs and alcohol.
Bennington also acknowledged being abused as a child. In interviews, he said he would numb himself to the pain and vent through his music.
“We shouldn't be surprised when we learn he actually had some serious demons and suffering he was dealing with,” said Veronin. “Depression maybe, I can't comment on what he might, might not have had.”
Some call the timing eerie. Bennington had been close friends with fellow rocker Chris Cornell of Sound Garden who took his own life in May. Today would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.
“I think artists are sensitive people, a lot of times they have a darker side that we the public, their fans don't get to see,” said Veronin.
Sandra Magana bought tickets to see Linkin Park in San Jose. Her thoughts are with his band members at this time.
“Of course, I will stand by them and see what they will do but there's no one that's going to replace Chester of course. His voice is just amazing,” said Magana.
Regarding the status of the tour, SAP Center officials said they have not yet heard from the promoter. Bennington leaves behind a wife and six children.