Categories: Phoenix, Arizona | Palos Verdes Estates, California | American Singers | Grammy Award Winners of the 21st Century | This Day In History March 20 | This Day In History July 20 | Famous Musicians of the 20th Century | Notables.
Chester was born on March 20, 1976 to Susan Johnson and Lee Bennington in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother was a nurse and his father was a police detective that worked in child sex abuse cases. His parents divorced when he was 11 years old and his father gained custody of him.
When Chester was 17, he went to go live with his mother who banned him from leaving the house when she learned of his drug activity.
Chester took an interest in music at a young age and has cited the bands Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots as being his inspiration.
Shortly after his parents divorce, Chester admitted to abuse of marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD. It was later revealed that the reason behind this was because of sexual abuse when he was seven years old till he was 13 years old by an older male friend.
The actions of this person caused Chester to have the urge to kill people and run away. He had initially did not reveal who the abuser was because of fear that he would be called a liar or be perceived to be homosexual. He later revealed the abuser to his father but, chose not to continue the case when he found out the abuser was actually a victim as well.
The abuse was used to fuel pictures, poetry, and songs by Chester. He also was able to overcome his drug addiction and would go on to denounce drug use in future interviews. He did admit during one tour with Linkin Park that he had to begun to drink heavily. In 2011, he said he had quit.
Chester was also bullied at school for being skinny and looking different.
Chester had a child with Elka Brand, Jaime (born 1996). He also adopted her other son, Isaiah (1997) in 2006.
On October 31, 1996, Chester married Samantha Olit. They had one child together, Draven (2002). The relationship declined during the early years of Linkin Park and they divorced in 2005.
In 2006, he married Talinda Bentley. He had three children with her: Tyler, Lilly, and Lila.
Chester was found dead by apparent suicide by hanging in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California by his housekeep around 9 AM PDT on July 20, 2017.
Chester first began singing with a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends?. They released a three-track cassette in 1993. Sean and Chester moved on to form a new band, Grey Daze, a post-grunge band. The band recorded three albums: Demo in 1993, Wake/Me in 1994, and ...no sun today in 1997. Chester left Grey Daze in 1998.
Chester was frustrated and almost ready to quit his musical career when he got an audition offer from Jeff Blue, VP of A&R at Zomba Music in LA. He quit his day job and moved his family to California where he had a successful audition with the band that was called Xero, later and better known as Linkin Park.
On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, through Warner Bros. Records. Chester primarily served as Linkin Park's lead vocalist, but occasionally shared the role with Shinoda. Chester's vocals are "higher-pitched" and "emotional" contrasted to Shinoda's hip-hop style delivery. Both members worked together to write lyrics for the band's songs.
Linkin Park's album, Hybrid Theory, won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song "Crawling".
Chester co-founded Dead by Sunrise in 2005 with Orgy and Julien-K members Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck. Dead by Sunrise made their live debut in May 2008, performing four songs at the 13th anniversary party for Club Tattoo in Tempe, Arizona.
The band released their debut album Out of Ashes on October 13, 2009.
When the band parted ways with long-time singer, Scott Weiland, in February 2013; the band recruited Chester to replace Weiland in May 2013. His first appearance with the band was on the stage of KROQ's Weenie Roast. The setlist included original Stone Temple Pilots songs along with their first single with Chester on vocals called "Out of Time". This song debuted on May 19 and was available for free download. The song is also featured on their EP High Rise which was released on October 8, 2013.
Chester left the band on good terms due to his commitments with Linkin Park in 2015.
Chester appeared on "Walking Dead" in 2005, the lead single from turntablist Z-Trip's debut album Shifting Gears. He also made a surprise guest appearance during Z-Trip's performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the same year.
Chester performed with Kings of Chaos during their six-show concert tour in 2016.
Chester executive-produced the 2012 debut EP Us-You for Los Angeles hard rock band Hellflower.
Chester made a cameo in the 2006 film Crank as a customer in the pharmacy. He later appeared as a horse-track spectator in the film's 2009 sequel Crank: High Voltage. He also had a role as the ill-fated racist, Evan, in the 2010 film Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. He appeared in Artifact (2012) as himself.
He was working with Church on developing an upcoming television show, Mayor of the World, with executive producer Trip Taylor.
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