5 Things You May Not Have Known About Chester Bennington
Today we celebrate the birthday of the late, great Chester Bennington, best known as the lead singer of Linkin Park. There was more to Bennington than just his work with that band, however, and to commemorate the day of his birthday, we’ve put together a list of five things you might not have known about his career.
- His early music tastes were a little all over the place.
Bennington’s first big musical influences couldn’t have been much more different – Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots?! – but both captured his attention in a way that other artists never had. Granted, he ultimately veered more in the direction of the latter band…like, to the point where he ended up fronting STP for a brief period. But just in case you think you’ve got him figured out, he was also a huge Madonna fan, so…keep figuring!
- Prior to Linkin Park, he was the lead singer of two other bands.
The first band was called Sean Dowdell and His Friends?, and while they weren’t around for an extended period of time, they did manage to release a three-song cassette. The second band also featured Dowdell, but this time he kept his name out of their name: they were called Grey Daze, and they released three albums between 1993 and 1997 before Bennington departed for greener – or at least less Grey – pastures.
- While in Linkin Park, he also had a side project called Dead by Sunrise.
In 2005, Bennington teamed with Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck of Orgy and Julian-K to have some fun in the electronic-rock genre. Dead by Sunrise released their debut album, OUT OF ASHES, in October 2009 and found at least one semi-substantial hit with the single “Crawl Back In.” Alas, it was to be their only album, but it hit #29 on the Billboard 200, which is pretty impressible for a side project.
- In 2005, he teamed with Motley Crue to cover “Home Sweet Home” for a Hurricane Katrina charity.
"The chance to perform with these guys for such a great cause is something really special," Bennington said of the digitally-released single at the time. "Hopefully, people will embrace it in the way it was intended. The song really does fit the sentiment and something special happened when we pulled it together. Everyone felt as if they were doing something really important."
- He once covered “Riders on the Storm” with Ray Manzarek.
It was for a Santana album called GUITAR HEAVEN: THE GREATEST GUITAR CLASSICS OF ALL TIME, which featured some other unique performances, including Gavin Rossdale of Bush singing T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong” and Pat Monahan of Train belting out Van Halen’s “Dance the Night Away.”