One More Light Goes Out as the Soundgarden is Silenced

Frontmen Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell leave the world in tears with connected suicides


  Two months short of his fifty-third birthday, Chris Cornell took his own life in Detroit, Michigan. Fellow musician and friend Chester Bennington sang at Cornell’s funeral, but there was little to celebrate come Cornell’s birthday; that day, Chester Bennington ended his life.

  Behind the stage, Bennington befriended Cornell while Cornell was a guest in 2007 for the LINKIN PARK “Minutes to Midnight” tour, and the two worked together again in 2008, during the LINKIN PARK-hosted musical festival “Projekt Revolution.”

  Cornell recalled that Bennington was “dedicated and passionate” after seeing him continue a show onstage with a broken wrist that had occurred at the beginning of a show in Australia.

  Bennington, too, was amazed by playing onstage with a similarly dynamic musician, admitting that he was “such a big fan” and that “that’s the most important aspect of why I do what I do and how I do it.” He had toured with tons of people he had grown up listening to and loving, thinking that “this couldn’t be real” when he sang with Cornell.

  Autopsy reports have ruled both deaths as suicides, but Cornell’s wife Vicky disagrees that her rock star husband purposely ended his life. “Many of us who knew Chris noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off,” she stated.

  Toxicology results showed that drugs were present in Cornell’s system at the time of death, but the medical examiner declined that they had any effect to the suicide. Cornell had been sober for years after a long history of drug addiction, however his family has speculated that Cornell’s suicidal impulse may have been a side effect from epilepsy sedative Ativan.

  Bennington was significantly impacted by Cornell’s death, stating, “I’m still weeping. You have inspired me in many ways you could have never known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that.”

  In Bennington’s earlier life, he began taking many substances including acid, crack, meth, opium, pot, and alcohol, reportedly to numb difficult emotions. Bennington was very open about his life with addiction, sexual abuse as a child, and many attempts at sobriety. After dissolving a rocky marriage to first wife Samantha Marie Olit, Bennington was faced with the choice of quitting alcohol abuse or dying.

  Bennington was survived by his second wife Talinda Bently-Bennington and his six children. He credited music for keeping him alive, and that it was something that helped him get past his demons. March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017.

  Cornell was survived by his wife Vicky Karayiannis-Cornell and his three children. July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017.

   Addiction is a matter of life and death. If you or a loved one are experiencing alcohol/substance abuse or suicidal thoughts, please visit for resources to get help. Purchase LINKIN PARK’s seventh studio album One More Light on iTunes and help support LINKIN PARK as they spread addiction and suicide awareness.

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