The Cathartic Lyrics of Chester Bennington

The music world is again reeling today after the loss of Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, who was found deceased in his California apartment yesterday due to an apparent suicide. The rockers death comes just one month after the suicide of grunge icon Chris Cornell. Music itself is a well-known cathartic process and Chester made it well known in his lyrics and interviews about his struggle not only with depression and addiction but his traumatic experience with molestation as a child. His vocals would scream pain and agony over each melody but ironically his songs gave those who could commiserate with his afflictions – hope. Linkin Park magnificently walked the bridge of rock and rap effortlessly in their career, even collaborating with rapper Jay-Z to birth Collision Course – a 2004 EP mixing hit songs from both artists into singles. This 6 song experiment thrilled fans and skyrocketed to #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and even went on to win one of the highest honors in music – a Grammy, one of two awarded to the group during their reign. In a 2009 interview with Noise Creep, Chester discussed how his addiction lended itself to the band’s song “Crawling”, a near literal depiction of the emotional turmoil he experienced as a drug and alcohol addict. As battled recovery, fans were able to lyrically view his journey through each song and album released. His most recent song “Heavy” continued this trend. While Chester may be gone, his music and lyrics provided a voice to those who felt they had no way to express the darkness or sadness that often visits them. With his music, his fans will always have an opportunity to verbalize their pain through his lyrics and through that gift, his legacy will always live on.

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