“You can't be afraid of people willing to hurt you, cause if you fear life, then you will never live.” – Chester Bennington
Linkin Park is one of the most successful rock acts in the world. Since the release their debut album Hybrid Theory in 2000, they've sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, gone platinum, and won two Grammy awards.
Here are 47 Facts about Linkin Park.
47. The Beginning
They started out as a band called Xero in 1996. Formed in Los Angelos California, the original members were Joe Hahn, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, and Rob Bourdon. After Chester Bennington joined, they changed their name to “Hybrid Theory.”
46. What’s in a Name?
The band got into a minor legal dispute about their name with another band, so they changed to “Lincoln Park.” They had to change the spelling to “Linkin Park” so they could afford their own website. They used “Hybrid Theory” as the title to their first album.
45. Don’t Curse at Me
They don't swear in most of their songs because they feel there are better ways to get their message across.
44. Smart Move, Brad
To protect his hearing, Brad Delson wears headphones when he plays at concerts.
43. If at First You Don’t Succeed…
Linkin Park auditioned and were rejected for record deals 44 (yes, forty-four) times before finally being accepted by Warner Brothers and becoming one of the biggest musical acts of the past two decades. In fact, Warner Brothers had rejected Linkin Park three times before they finally signed them.
42. It Worked Out In The End
Chester didn’t like “In The End.” He thought fans would absolutely hate it. Instead, “In The End” has become one of—if not the most—iconic songs by Linkin Park. They play it a every live event, with very few exceptions.
41. A Brief Time Apart
Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, the original bassist of the band, left for some time after the departure of Mark Wakefield (vocalist of Xero).
40. Watch Them Rock
Linkin Park was the first rock band in history to achieve more than 1 billion YouTube views. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen them “New Divide” accounts for more than 10% of total views.
39. Inked in Union
When Chester married Samantha Marie Olit, they were too poor to afford rings. They got matching tattoos on their ring fingers instead.
38. Staying On Point
Rob Bourdon is a perfectionist. According to Brad, he never plays a part wrong, and is always the first to point out if something’s not up to standard.
37. Farewell, Mark
The only member of Linkin Park who left the band is Mark Wakefield, who was a Xero vocalist from 1996 to 1998.
36. A Few Records Sold
Linkin Park has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. Their debut album Hybrid Theory has sold more than 24 million copies worldwide.
35. Decorated for Success
Over the years, Linkin Park have won 2 Grammy Awards and 21 MTV Awards in total.
34. Thank you, MTV
The reason Linkin Park worked with Jay-Z was because MTV requested the collaboration.
33. Leading the Charge
In 1996, three school friends—Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson—recruited Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and Mark Wakefield to record a 4-track demo tape in Shinoda’s makeshift bedroom studio. This tape is considered the first thing ever created by Linkin Park, who was still known as Xero at the time.
32. Out of the Fryer and onto the Stage
Chester Bennington actually worked at a Burger King in 1996. Brad Delson, meanwhile, was a bouncer at The Roxy during the early days of the band.
31. A Little Accident Prone
In 2001, while touring for Ozzfest, Chester was bitten by a recluse spider. He also pulled out his back picking up baggage, tore a ligament in his hand while playing basketball at Chuck E. Cheese, and broke a wrist during a stage dive in 2007.
30. On the Film Reel
Chester has cameo roles in the Jason Statham action movies Crank Crank: High Voltage.
29. Writing Chops
Mike Shinoda started writing for The Big Issue in September 2012 and was the publication's US election correspondent.
28. Sweet Swag
Chester has his own line of clothes in conjunction with Porsche.
26. Bringing Talent Together
In 2002, Linkin Park started Projekt Revolution, a tour made up of diverse acts like Cypress Hill, Korn, Snoop Dogg, and Chris Cornell. The tour ran annually until 2004 and started up again in 2007.
25. A Little Time on the Road
Joint tours with Family Values and the Project: Revolution Tour with Cypress Hill led the band to play a staggering 324 shows in 2001. They were the highest-selling music act that year.
Frank Lero, 2007 Projekt Revolution Tour.
24. Solid Advice
If you play “Announcement Service Public” backwards, you can hear Chester sing: "you should brush your teeth and you should wash your hands."
23. Art Theory
Mike Shinoda, a graphic designer by trade, designed the album cover of Hybrid Theory.
22. Total Pricks
Before forming Xero, Brad Delson's first instrument was the trumpet. Rather wonderfully, his first band was called The Pricks.
21. A Little Inspiration
Rob Bourdon started to play the drums after watching an Aerosmith concert. His mother was friends with Aerosmith’s drummer, Joey Kramer, and Kramer actually gave Rob a kick pedal.
20. Picking Favorites
Chester has cited “One Step Closer” as his least favourite Linkin Park song and also said that “Breaking the Habit” was his favourite.
19. In Solemn Memory
On July 20th of 2017, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington committed suicide at the age of 41. The singer’s cause of death was suicide by hanging.
18. Goodbye, My Friend
Bennington was close to Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, who also died of suicide in a similar manner. Chester was actually godfather to one of Cornell’s children. Tragically, Bennington committed suicide on what would have been Cornell’s birthday.
Bennington sung “Hallelujah” at Chris Cornell’s funeral after he died of suicide on May 18, 2017 in Detroit. Bennington penned a heart-wrenching tribute to his lost friend on Twitter. Cornell was 52 when he died.
Chris Bennington performs "Hallelujah" at Chris Cornell's funeral service.
16. Chester's Children
Chester leaves behind six children. At the time of his death, Chester was married to second wife, Talinda Bentley, with whom he had three children: twin daughters named Lily and Lila and a son named Tyler. Chester had a child, a son named Jamie, with former girlfriend Elka Brand, and he adopted her son Isaiah. He also had a son named Draven Sebastian with his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit.
15. Early Horrors
Chester spoke of suicide years before he took his life (2008). Chester revealed he suffered sexual abuse from an older male friend when he was seven years old. He said he was afraid to ask for help because he didn’t want people to think he was gay or lying. The abuse continued until the age of thirteen. The abuse, and struggles with his home life, affected him so much that he felt the urge to kill and run away. To comfort himself, he drew pictures and wrote poetry.
14. Untimely Release
Linkin Park released a new music video on the day of Bennington’s death, before learning the tragic news.
13. A Little Starlight on the Side
Mike Shinoda’s hip-hop side project only released one album, but The Rising Tied (2005) was a hit: “Where’d You Go” reached number four on the Billboard chart. Mike collaborated with Jay Z, John Legend and Common.
Bennington and his Talinda were harassed by a cyber stalker named Devon Townsend (not the singer, Devin Townsend). Townsend was charged and found guilty of tampering with the couple’s email and sending threatening messages. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
11. A Few Trophies to Their Name
Linkin Park has been nominated for six Grammys and won two. Chester said their biggest Grammy moment was performing “Numb/Encore” with Jay Z at the 2006 ceremony.
10. School of Hard Knocks
Chester was bullied in high school. “I was knocked around like a rag doll at school, for being skinny and looking different.”
Chester’s high school yearbook picture (left).
9. When Legends Collide
Linkin Park and Jay Z’s Collision Course record is one of the most famous collaborations in metal. Collision Course reached number one on the Billboard 200 in 2004. It sold around 7 million copies worldwide.
8. Living on Top
Their fifth album, Living Things, entered the Billboard 200 at number one. Mike Shinoda described the album as attempting to “bridge the gap between all the previous records. We wanted to bring some of the old fans into the new and some of the new fans into the old and mix it up.”
7. May The Art Be With You
In 2015, Mike customized a life-size model of a stormtrooper for the Art Awakens Star Wars-themed exhibition in Hollywood for charity. It was valued at $15,000.
6. “Falling Apart”
Chester Bennington only released one album, Out of Ashes, with his side-project, Dead By Sunrise. The album was deeply personal. He revealed in interview that “My life was falling apart… I was writing about [it] on this record in terms of getting divorced, in terms of diving very hard into alcohol and drugs.” After his divorce, Bennington had started abusing marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD.
5. Through the Darkness
Most Linkin Park fans know that Chester Bennington had struggles with addiction and depression, but lots of fans don’t realize that he actually overcame his drug addiction with the help of his band mates.
Mike Shinoda said, "When Chester had some problems, everybody jumped up to help him and tell him how supportive we wanted to be and how much it means to us that he was doing something positive. We're lucky to have a band full of guys who have their head screwed on straight. A lot of life experience goes into that, but we just support each other. We have each other's back. At the end of the day we love what we do. We're not willing to throw that away on anything."
Chester went on to denounce drug use in interviews.
4. Technology Park
In 2015, Linkin Park started a venture capital company called Machine Shop Ventures to invest in tech start-ups. Mike commented on the decision, saying, “To be around that kind of culture with people who are super cutting-edge thinkers who are so smart, that's inspiring to me. I feel like we're more at home there.”
3. With a Little Help from Your Friends
Linkin Park may not have landed their Warner Brothers contract without a little help from a guy named Jeff Blue. Previously a music journalist for Billboard, Jeff went on to become VP of A&R at Warner. Jeff had previously hired Brad Delson as an intern and helped Linkin Park secure their first deal.
2. Guns and Words
In response to the 2011 Tucson shooting, Chester said, “There’s a non-violent way to express yourself and get your point across – regardless of what you’re saying or what your point is. In a free society, people have a right to believe whatever they want to believe. That’s their business and they can speak their mind… but nobody, even in a free society, has the right to take another person’s life. Ever. That’s something that we really need to move beyond.”
The world is feeling the loss in the wake of Chester’s suicide, with friends and family of the talented singer hurting most. One of Chester’s friends, Matt Pinfield said, “Chester was a lovely, positive guy. He cared about people, and all the success never went to his head. He was great to his fans. It is an incredible loss.”
1. Popularity Un-Contested
Linkin Park is the most-liked band on Facebook, with over 62 million likes.