By Jon Wiederhorn
Linkin Park’s late vocalist Chester Bennington was buried in a private service on Saturday (July 29) at South Coast Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes Estates, California. There were approximately 500 mourners at the burial, including family members, friends, and musicians present to pay their respects.
Ted Stryker of LA’s KROQ-FM led the service. Chester’s Stone Temple Pilots bandmates Robert and Dean DeLeo, Kings of Chaos drummer Matt Sorum, Damon Fox, and Jimmy Gnecco teamed up for a powerful and poignant rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Ryan Shuck — who comprised Dead By Sunrise with Chester — and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn were among the friends who gave heartfelt eulogies.
Attendees were handed yellow “Chester Bennington” wristbands and memorial cards that looked like backstage passes.
“The service today was beautiful. Thank you Linkin Park, thank you Chester. For everything,” wrote the singer’s friend Austin Carlile, whose former band Of Mice and Men toured with Linkin park.
Linkin Park paid tribute to their singer in a statement last week: “Our hearts are broken. The shock waves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened,” it read. “You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized.”
Bennington’s vocals, which ranged from a gentle melodic whisper to a harrowing scream, were a major part of Linkin Park’s sound. And the agony in his voice and lyrics was real; Bennington suffered from severe depression and over the course of his career tried to mask his pain in drugs, and later, alcohol. In truth, his authenticity probably contributed the band’s success. Linkin Park sold more than 70 million albums globally and won two Grammy Awards.
“He was a bright, loving soul with an angel’s voice,” Bennington’s wife Talinda said in a statement she put out after her husband’s death. “Now he is pain-free singing his songs in all of our hearts. May God bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain. Chester would’ve wanted us to do so.”
Bennington took his life on July 20 at the age of 41. He is survived by his wife, Talinda, and six children.