The unexpected death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington shocked the music world last week when it emerged that he had committed suicide at the age of just 41.
While tributes poured in from fans and fellow artists alike, bandmate Mike Shinoda simply tweeted to confirm the news, before the group posted an image of Bennington performing.
They’ve now released a full, poignant tribute to their friend and bandmate which they posted on Monday, as well as creating a tribute page on their website.
It reads as follows:
Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.
You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you.
Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.
Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much.
Until we see you again,
Mike Shinoda has also shared the first photo taken of the band together – they would go on to sell over 70 million albums worldwide over the following 20 years:
1997 or 1998...I think this was the first photo we ever took together. We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band. He said he was ready to move out from Arizona to L.A. We went to a pizza place near UCLA to hang out and talk about what to do next. The band was called Xero at the time, and we probably had less than a half a dozen songs. No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college.
A post shared by Mike Shinoda (@m_shinoda) on
He has also changed his Twitter photo to a new version of the Linkin Park logo – formerly it featured six edges, one for each bandmember. Now, only five remain.
In addition, across their socials and website, the band have shared links to help people who need support:
In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources: Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html