When Linkin Park emerged into the music scene with their debut album " Hybrid Theory" in 2000, the band brought with it the sounds of rock 'n' roll that had been lost to the grunge era of the 1990s.
Blending sounds of rock, rap, hip-hop, and electronica into one album, Linkin Park quickly rose to fame and is still one of the most influential rock bands of this century. An angsty break away from the boy band rage of the early 2000s, Linkin Park taught audiences to be different and to hold their heads high, proud of those differences.
However, tragedy has recently struck the Linkin Park family and fandom, as frontmen singer Chester Bennington passed away a few days ago. Chester's suicide has left a hole in the music community and the hearts of fans everywhere. Open about his struggle with depression, drugs, and alcohol abuse following an abusive past, Chester Bennington paired a hauntingly melodic voice with emotionally charged lyrics to reach out to audiences in need and touch the lives of many.
Following the death of Chris Cornell, an influential musician and dear friend of Chester's in May of 2017, Chester posted a letter to Twitter in which he tells Chris, "You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one." To many, Chester himself was that pure and unrivaled talent that inspired us in ways that he could never have known, and his death has left a sting in the hearts of that audience.
There is a stigma surrounding depression and other mental illness that must end. Depression does not care if you are rich, famous or successful, all of these things which Chester was. Chester Bennington was not the first and unfortunately, will probably not be the last victim of this vicious disease; however, he could be. We as a human species have fallen apart, fallen from each other, choosing instead to sit in our glass houses and throw stones at others, without stopping to think the effects and repercussions our actions and words may have. If we could only see past hate and show compassion, sympathy, and love for one another; if we could put the "human" back in humane, then could we see a day where no life is lost by the demons of depression.
In the aftermath, the pain in Chester's voice and lyrics is apparent. His death is a tragedy, but that doesn't mean good cannot arise from it. If we as humans can reach out a helping hand and save one person's life, then we have done good that will last a lifetime. It is unfortunately too late to help Chester, but it isn't too late to help our friends, family, coworkers, and strangers on the street. Depression is a silent and vicious disease that has taken far too many beautiful souls from the world, and it's time we stood together as people to confront this sickness head on.
The gene for talent and torment seem to go hand in hand, so it is truly a shame that the voice that saved millions of lives could not save its own. We love you Chester, and we miss you dearly. In the end, it all mattered. Thank you for your legacy.