On July 20, 2017, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington committed suicide. The news rocked the music industry and saw artists like JAY-Z and Rick Ross honor Bennington’s work. Today, the band pays tribute to him though a touching Instagram post.
“To our brother Chester,” the post read. “It has been a year since your passing—a surreal rotation of grief, heartbreak, refusal, and recognition. And yet it still feels like you are close by, surrounding us with your memory and your light. Your one-of-a-kind spirit has authored an indelible imprint on our hearts—our jokes, our joy, and our tenderness."
The band's bassist, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, also published an open letter to Bennington. In it, he acknowledged that he was unable to speak publicly about the passing of his friend before. "I still struggle to try and eloquently express what you mean to your family, your friends, your fans... and to me," he wrote. "There is so much that I feel, and that I could say, and that I would want to say, and that I don’t know how to say... but one thing I know for certain, is that you are loved, and you are missed."
At the time of Bennington's death, the band released a statement that acknowledged that "the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal” and that "it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place.” The band also canceled an upcoming North American tour to have time to grieve, and later performed a concert at the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate the artist's life.
Since then, Mike Shinoda, the band’s co-lead vocalist, has released a full-length solo project titled Post Traumatic. The project was a way for Shinoda to grieve the loss of his band member and friend.
"If people have been through something similar, I hope they feel less alone," he explained in a statement about the project. "If they haven’t been through this, I hope they feel grateful."
"This is not Linkin Park—it's just me," he added in an attempt to explain the musical differences between the solo project and Linkin Park's sound. "Art has always been the place I go when I need to sort through the complexity and confusion of the road ahead. I don't know where this path goes, but I'm grateful I get to share it with you."