Linkin Park

Linkin Park
Photo: Mick Hutson/Redferns

1. The band had two incarnations prior to Linkin Park. Three school friends – Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson founded the band Xero and recruited Joe Hahn, Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, and Mark Wakefield. Recording and producing songs in Shinoda’s makeshift bedroom studio in 1996, they produced a 4-track demo tape called Xero.

2. Chester Charles Bennington was born on March 20, 1976, in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother was a nurse, while his father was a police detective who worked on child sexual abuse cases.

3. The band’s first ever gig was at The Whisky a Go Go, in LA, which was also the launching pad for a plethora of legendary bands like Motley Crüe, The Doors and Guns ‘N Roses.

4. Bennington first began singing with a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends? They released an eponymous three-track cassette in 1993.

5. Linkin Park has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

6. Chester Bennington married Talinda Ann Bentley, a former Playboy model in 2006 with which he had three children.

7. They have won two Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards and three World Music Awards.

8. Rob Bourdon started to play Drums after watching an Aerosmith concert. His mother, Patty, is friends with Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, and Kramer gave Rob a kick pedal.

9. Linkin Park became the first rock band to achieve more than one billion YouTube hits. They hit the landmark with their 2009 single “New Divide”, which acted as the lead-off single to the Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen soundtrack scoring 131 million views on its own.

10. Chester Bennington worked at a Burger King in 1996. Brad Delson, meanwhile, was a bouncer at The Roxy on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood during the early days of the band.

11. Bennington and his wife Talinda were harassed by a cyberstalker named Devon Townsend for almost a year. Townsend was found guilty of tampering with the couple’s email, as well as sending threatening messages, and was later sentenced to two years in prison.

12. Bennington suffered sexual abuse from an older male friend when he was seven years old. He was afraid to ask for help because he did not want people to think he was gay or lying, and the abuse continued until he was 13 years old.

13. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium.

14. In 2014, the band was declared as “The Biggest Rock Band in the World Right Now” by Kerrang! Magazine.

15. Chester Bennington appeared in cameo roles in several films, including Crank, Crank: High Voltage and Saw 3D.

16. Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005. He became the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 but left in 2015 to focus solely on Linkin Park.

17. Playing live, guitarist Brad Delson can be seen wearing headphones. This is in an effort to protect his hearing.

18. The band settled with the name “Lincoln Park,” after the public park, which Bennington regularly passed on his way in Santa Monica, California.

19. Mike Shinoda is an artist and graphic designer. He has painted several pieces of artwork, some of which have been featured in the Japanese American National Museum.

20. On July 20, 2017, Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.

21. To date (2019) Linkin Park has released seven studio albums, three live albums, two compilation albums, two remix albums, three soundtrack albums, 12 video albums, 10 extended plays, 35 singles, 20 promotional singles, and 66 music videos.

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