Linkin Park Vocalist
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Bennington was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Greenway High school. He took interest in music at a young age, citing Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots as early inspirations. Bennington’s parents separated in the late 1980s. He later struggled with cocaine and methamphetamine addictions. Bennington eventually overcame his drug addiction, and would go on to denounce drug use in future interviews. He worked at a Burger King restaurant before starting his career as a professional musician.
Before joining Linkin Park, Bennington was a vocalist in Grey Daze, a grunge band from Phoenix, Arizona. He left Grey Daze in 1998, but struggled to find another band to sing in. After nearly quitting his musical career altogether, Jeff Blue, the vice president of A&R at Zomba Music in Los Angeles, offered Bennington an audition with the future members of Linkin Park. Bennington quit his day job, and took his family to California, where he had a successful audition with Linkin Park, who were then called “Xero”. Bennington and Mike Shinoda, the band’s other vocalist, made significant progress together, but failed to find a record deal. After facing numerous rejections, Jeff Blue, now a vice president of A&R at Warner Bros., intervened again to help the band sign with Warner Bros. Records.
Chester Bennington has two children from a previous relationship with Elka Brand; Jamie and Isaiah. Bennington married his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, on October 31, 1996. They have one child together, Draven Sebastian Bennington, who was born on April 19, 2002. Bennington’s relationship with his first wife declined during his early years with Linkin Park, and they divorced in 2005. After divorcing his first wife, Bennington married Talinda Ann Bentley, a former Playboy model, with whom he has had a child, Tyler Lee Bennington. The wedding ceremony was custom designed and performed by Mary Jean Valente of “A Ceremony of the Heart”. Bennington and his family live in a house in Gilbert, Arizona when he is not on tour.
Chester and Talinda were harassed by a cyberstalker, 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 sentenced to two years in prison.
Bennington is a tattoo enthusiast. Bennington has done work and promotions with Club Tattoo, a recognized tattoo parlor in Tempe, Arizona.