Chester Bennington, born on March 20,1976 in Phoenix Arizona was an American singer, who was best known as lead singer for the Band Linkin Park. Besides being the main vocalist for Linkin Park, he was also a songwriter, musician, and an actor. Chester and his Band Linkin Park rose to fame following the release of their album “Hybrid Theory” in 2000, which became both commercial and Critical success. He had a very successful musical career, but sadly, it came to an end when he was found dead at his home Palos Verdes Estates, California by his housekeeper on July 20, 2017.
With that short introduction, let’s move on to 10 facts you may not know about Chester Bennington.
1. Chester`s Father was a Police Officer in Child Sexual Abuse Cases:
Chester Bennington was the son of Lee Russell Bennington (Father ) and Susan Elaine Johnson (Mother).
While his Mother Susan worked as a nurse, his father Lee Russell was a police officer who mainly dealt with cases of child sexual abuse.
He worked double shifts and was practically not involved in his son’s development.
While the fact that Chester`s Father was a police officer in child abuse cases may not sound like an astonishing or ironical fact right away, the second fact on the list is going to connect the dot and show why it is.
2. Chester Bennington was a victim of Child Sexual Abuse:
As I stated above, the second fact on the list is going to show why the first fact is such an irony.
Chester suffered Sexual abuse from a male friend who was older than him at the tender age of seven. “It escalated from a touchy, what does this thing do, to a full-on crazy violation,” he said in a 2008 interview.
So, the fact that, the child of a police officer who specializes in child sexual Abuse cases was suffering from sexual abuse himself shows the kind of crazy world we live in. Well, Chester was afraid to ask for help because he did not want people to think he was gay or lying, and the abuse continued until the age of 13 years.
Many years later, Chester revealed the identity of the abuser to his father but chose not to continue the case after he realized the abuser was a victim himself.
A lot of Chester fans think, him being the lead singer of Linkin Park will go down as one the biggest musical influencers of the twenty-first century, but not a lot of people know that the same Chester Bennington was once the guy who served Fast food in Burger King.
It happened at the age of 17 when he started living with his mother before pursuing his musical career.
4. Linkin Park`s name was “Xero” at the begging and Chester was not the original lead singer of the band:
Chester joined the band, “Linkin Park” only after having a successful audition with a band which at the time of his audition were called “Xero.”
After recruitment of Chester, the band agreed to change the name of the band from Xero to “Hybrid Theory.” Legal complications with Welsh electronic music group “Hybrid” prompted a second name change, so they finally settled for Linkin Park.
Chester was so dedicated to making it big in his musical career, that he managed to record the song for his audition in a day, missing his own birthday celebration in the process.
All his hard work eventually paid off when on October 24, 2000, Linkin Park released their Debut Album “Hybrid Theory” through Warner Bros Records. Little did they know, that Hybrid Theory would go on to becoming the best debut album of the Twenty-First Century.
5. Linkin Park was not the first and the only band of Chester Bennington`s Musical Career:
The undisputed claim to fame for Chester Bennington comes as the lead singer of Linkin Park but did you know that Linking Park is not the only Band that Chester has been Part of.
As a matter of fact, the first band for which Chester began singing was called “Sean Dowdell and His Friends.“ Together, the band released an eponymous three-track cassette in 1993. Later Dowell of “Sean Dowell and Friends” moved on with Chester and formed a new Band called “Grey Daze”, which is a post-grunge band from Phoenix, Arizona.
Grey Daze recorded Three albums before Chester separated from the band in 1998. He also co-founded the band “Dead by Sunrise” as a side Project in 2005. Later he had a stint as frontman of “Stone Temple Pilots” in 2013 (More on this later).
6. Chester was fond of poetry:
Chester Bennington is credited as Singer, songwriter, musician and even an actor, but did you know he also enjoyed poetry a lot.
Often, he would share his poems, some of which were dedicated to his wife “Talinda Bennington” on his social networking site Instagram.
In fact, some of his poems are have been featured in various poem based websites like “poetrysoup.com.” You may check out his poems featured on the site by clicking the link “www.poetrysoup.com/fromeosblog“.
Given below is an extract of a poem written by Bennington shared on his social networking site.
7. Chester fulfilled his childhood Dream of becoming a part of Stone Temple Pilots:
Chester had interest in music, from a young age. He cited bands “Depeche Mode” and “Stone Temple Pilots” as his early inspirations. He had a dream of becoming a member of “Stone Temple Pilots” one day. This dream was achieved in 2013 when he became the band`s lead singer.
In February 2013, the band Stone Temple Pilots parted ways with their long-time lead singer “Scott Weiland” after the differences between Weiland and the band. Scott was officially out of the band on February 27, 2013, when the band announced on their website that the band officially terminated Scott Weiland.
In May 2013, the band recruited Chester Bennington as a replacement for Scott Weiland. Bennington first took the stage with Stone Temple Pilots on May 18, 2013, at KROQ’s Weenie Roast.
The setlist included original Stone Temple Pilots songs, as well as their first single with Bennington on vocals called “Out of Time”, which debuted on May 19 and was available for free download via their official website.
Later in an exclusive KROQ interview, it was announced that Chester Bennington was officially the new frontman of Stone Temple Pilots. Chester stated that the opportunity to join the band was “a no-brainer” to him as he grew up listening to them.
In 2015, Bennington parted ways with the band on good terms because of his commitments with Linkin Park.
8. He had a public relationship with 3 women in his life:
So, up next is a fact about Chester`s love life. While fans have seen Chester make public appearances with his current wife Talinda Bennington, Did you know, that Chester had serious relationships with Two other women?
So, his first serious romance was with a woman named “Elka Brand”. While there is not a lot of detailed information available about Elka, it is known fact that the pair shared a good bond even after their split (that happened before 1996), which is evidenced by the fact that Chester adapted Elka`s other son in 2006 despite the pair already having a child from their relationship earlier.
Elka is currently living a normal life with her current husband and family.
Next up was Chester `s failed marriage with the woman named “Samantha Marie Olit.” Their marriage took place on October 31, 1996. They meet during his stint with the band “Grey Daze.” It was also during his relationship with Samantha, he auditioned for Linkin Park (Xero at that time) in 1998.
However, as he was starting to shine on the professional front with the rise to fame thanks to Linkin Park and Hybrid Theory, his relationship with Samantha was going on a downward spiral. The couple finally called it quits in 2005.
The final woman in the Chester Bennington`s book of love was “Talinda Bennington.” The pair met through one of Talinda`s friend.
They dated for few months and then, felt it was the right time to take their relationship to another level. So, on December 31, 2005, Chester tied the knot with Talinda.
The couple had a very good tuning and had three children together (More of that below). Chester also had a song “Give me Your Name” dedicated to Talinda on their wedding.
9. Chester Bennington was the father of 6 kids:
So, up next is a fact linked to the fact no. 8 above. Believe it or not, Chester Bennington is a parent to 6 children, out of which, he is the biological father to 5 of them. So, let me try to make this quick.
He had a child named Jamie from his relationship with Elka Brand. This was much before he had fame, money, and spotlight with Linkin Park. Also, he adopted Brand’s other son, Isaiah in 2006.
He had one child from his relationship with his first wife Samantha Marie Olit whose name was Draven Sebastian.
Finally, he had three children from his marriage with his second wife Talinda Bennington. They were son-Tyler Lee Bennington and twin daughters named Lily and Lila.
The names might be a lot to read within a paragraph, so, Please refer below the list of his children along with their date of births.
- Jaime (born May 12, 1996) from Elka Brand
- Isaiah (born Nov`8, 1997) from Elka Brand (adopted)
- Draven Sebastian (born April 19, 2002) from Samantha Marie Olit
- Tyler Lee Bennington (born March 16, 2006) from Talinda Bennington
- Lily Bennington(born November 6, 2011) from Talinda Bennington
- Lilla Bennington (born November 6, 2011) from Talinda Bennington
10. Harassment by a cyberstalker:
When you are someone as famous Chester Bennington, you are bound to have a lot of fans and followers. But sometimes, what you feel is a fan following, turns out to be something entirely big and dangerous.
In 2006, Chester and his second wife Talinda were terrorized by a female cyber stalker named Devon Townsend. Townsend was an obsessive Linkin Park Fan and an employee of a nuclear research and development facility named “Sandia National Laboratory.”
Townsend called Chester and his wife at random hours of the night and intimidated the couple by making the remarks like “I have complete control over your lives” and “I know where your Children are.” The situation was so worse that, the stalker reportedly has control of Cell Phone, Email, and Paypal Accounts.
Finally, when she was confronted at work, she said that “She was Bored”, so, she terrorized the Bennington couple.
Fortunately for Bennington and Talinda, the situation did not escalate into something bigger than stalking. Later on, Townsend was sentenced to two years in prison after she was found guilty of the charges.
11. Chester Bennington had 15 tattoos:
To say, Chester Bennington had a thing for Tattoos, would be an understatement, considering the fact that, almost his entire body was covered with tattoos.
He had multiple tattoos (15 to be exact) on his body. While it would take a separated blog post in its entirety to talk about all the tattoos on Chester’s body and their meanings, here are some of the references of tattoos that Chester had.
Flame tattoos on his wrists- These were his favorite tattoos.
Fish tattoos on his arms- Apparently, fish tattoos symbolize his varied personalities: water and fire.
Dragon tattoo on his chest with a large rose on the center along with three banners and the initials “CB TB” “JMB DSB TLB” “IB” which represents the honor of his close family members.
Initials ” Linkin Park” on his lower back and multiple dragons on his upper back- Chester was born in the year of Dragon, which is the reason behind his dragon tattoos.
Chester had done some work and promotions with “Club Tattoo,” a tattoo parlor in Tempe Arizona. Club Tattoo is owned by former bandmate (in bands “Sean Dowdell and Friends” and Grey Daze”) and high school friend of Chester ” Sean Dowdell”
12. Difficulties growing up:
Chester had difficulties growing up. We did talk about him being sexually abused by a senior male friend in point no. 1 above. Besides this, he had to witness his parents get divorced when he was only 11 years old.
Then, his father got the custody of Chester and it was during this time growing up that He was physically bullied in high school.
He said in an interview he was “knocked around like a rag doll at school, for being skinny and looking different.”
With regards to his time in high school, he stated, ” I was a geek, who thought, I was cool. I didn`t hang out with a particular clique, but with different people from different cliques. I was a total nerd trying to fit in.”
So, he clearly did not “fit in”, and by the age of 13, he was abusing Alchohol, marijuana, meth, cocaine, and opium, while his favorite of them all was LSD.
13. Chester credits a lot of his success to his addiction:
It is said that behind every artist`s voice, there is a deep-rooted story of pain, struggle and hard work hidden. Well, in case of Chester, this inspiration came from his struggles with alcohol, drugs, and depression.
That’s why Chester credits a lot of his success to his addiction, stating,
“I don`t think I could have been inspired to create something like that by watching someone else go through that”
His lyrics with Linkin Park for the songs like “Numb” and “Crawling” are autobiographical and deal with his own struggle with alcohol and depression. He stated,
“I have been able to tap into all the Negative things that can happen to me throughout my life and numbing myself to the pain so to speak and kind of being able to vent it through my music.”
14. Chester had a brief acting Career including a role in Saw 3D:
Besides being the lead singer of “Linkin Park”, one of the most famous alternative rock bands of the twenty-first century, Chester had a brief acting career as well.
He has been credited with acting roles in 4 movies. This role and other details are as under:
- Crank:- 2006- role as “Pharmacy Stoner”– A brief cameo
- Crank: High Voltage:- role as “Hollywood Park Guy”
- Saw 3D: The Final Chapter:- role as “Evan”
- Artifact:- role as “Himself”
15. Chester died on the same date as Chris Cornell`s birth date:
Chris Cornell was a close friend of Chester. By the way, if there is any of you, who don’t know who Chris Cornell is, let me give you a brief introduction.
Chris Cornell was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands “Sound Garden” and “Audioslave.” Besides, Chris is also known for his work as founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog.
So, just like Chester Bennington, he a rockstar in his own rights. Chris died on May 18,2017 and Chester expressed a heartfelt message to his friend on his social media attached below:
The connection of Chester`s death with Chris Cornell is that the day Chester Bennington died is the date which would have been Chris Cornell`s 53rd birthday (July 20, 2017).
Since Chester shared a great personal bond with Cornell and his death date was Cornell’s birth date, there have been speculations that Chester`s death was planned by himself. In addition to this, the fact that, Cornell`s death was also ruled as a suicide, further solidifies the speculations.
16. Role of Jeff Blue in Chester and Linkin Park`s Career:
Today, “Linkin Park” and Chester Bennington” are a household name, but back in the late nineties, both California based band “Xero” and singer “Chester Bennington” were struggling to find their feet in the music industry.
All of this finally changed, when Jeff Blue stepped in. First, he hired guitarist “Brad Delson” as his intern and signed his band “Xero” to a publishing deal on the night of their first performance.
After developing Xero for two years, and changing the band name to Hybrid Theory (and later to Linkin Park), Blue met Chester Bennington, a singer from Arizona, and incorporated him into the band after Chester nailed his auditions for the band.
Blue shopped the band for three years and showcased them forty-four times. Unable to get them a deal, Blue negotiated his employment contract with Warner Bros. Records to include the signing of Linkin Park.
Months later, Linkin Park`s Debut album “Hybrid Theory” was released and rest, as they say, is history as “Hybrid Theory” went on to become the best selling debut album of the Twenty-First century and the band Linkin Park have since sold over 100 Million records worldwide.
17. Chester`s second wife was once a Playboy Model:
Chester`s second wife Talinda Bennington (former name Talinda Ann Bentley) was also a native of Phoenix Arizona, like her husband Chester.
She had her stints working several different jobs as a school teacher, waitress, and trainer. According to sources online, she was featured in the Spring 2000 and Spring 2002 edition of Playboy magazine.
We here at fromeo blog tried researching about her work for Playboy magazine (we even went through list of playboy models during the period 2000 to 2002 but did not find her name) but were unable to find anything substantial, so, if any of you reader have more information on this subject, let us in the comments below.
18. Chester Bennington was really unlucky with Injuries and health problems:
Chester was very prone to accidents and Injuries. Maybe it was his luck or maybe things were bound to happen that way, he somehow always found himself in the middle of accidents that lead to him getting injured.
There were a series of health issues that Chester had to suffer.
- In 2003, Chester began to suffer from extreme abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues while filming the music video for “Numb.”
- In October 2007, Bennington sustained a wrist injury while attempting to jump off a platform during a show in Melbourne.
- In 2011, Chester was once again a victim of illness, which forced Linkin Park to cancel Three shows and reschedule two from “A Thousand Suns World Tour”
- In January 2015, Chester somehow again managed to injure his ankle during a basketball game.
19. Charity work with MusiCares MAP Fund:
Chester and his Band Linkin Park also worked to support MusiCares MAP Fund. For those of you who don’t know what Musiccares MAP Fund is,
Here’s a brief explanation.
MusiCares is a foundation incorporated in 1993, which is meant for musicians to have a place to turn in times of financial, personal, or medical crisis. This foundation was established to help artists in the music industry to recover from addiction and other mental problems.
Since, Chester was himself, fighting his own battles against addiction, he was more than happy to help and support the foundation.
“MusiCares MAP Fund is an amazing program that takes care of their own and actually saves lives. Its been so rewarding to support them and see firsthand what they’ve accomplished for so many artists.”
In 2013, Chester won the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his contribution and charity work from MusiCares MAP Fund.
20. Chester was too poor to afford a wedding ring at the time of his first marriage:
The year was 1996, and aspiring rockstar Chester Bennington had not yet made it big in his musical career. It was also at this time that he was getting married to his first wife ” Samantha Marie Olit.
So that was our list of facts about Chester Bennington. He is gone but will always be remembered for his contribution to music industry.
Also, hope all his kids go on to progress well in their respective field of choice and do something remarkable to continue their father`s legacy. Finally from us here at fromeos blog Rest in Peace “Chester Bennington.” (1976-2017).
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