Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington would have celebrated his 45th birthday on Saturday. His fans shared tributes all over social media, joining his widow, Talinda Bennington, in remembering his work. Bennington died on July 20, 2017, after taking his own life. Bennington died two months after his friend Chris Cornell, whose birthday was July 20.
Talinda, 44, shared a video of Bennington and their son, Tyler, now 15, dancing to "Gangnam Style." "You would have been 45 and yes, Tyler would have you doing this dance again," Talinda wrote in the caption. "This life without you never gets easier or less painful. We miss you dearly. We will celebrate you in so many ways today... Tyler teaching the girls and I this dance will be just one. We love you forever." Talinda and Bennington married in 2006 and are also parents to twin daughters Lily and Lila, 9. Bennington also had three children from previous relationships.
Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging. He died just weeks after Linkin Park released their seventh album, One More Light, leaving the band to cancel their tour. Bennington was close friends with Cornell, the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave. Cornell's death was also ruled a suicide by hanging. Bennington performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at Cornell's funeral and was the godfather of Cornell's son.
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After Bennington's death, Talina launched 320 Changes Direction to raise awareness of mental health issues. Her goal is to make sure mental health programs are made easily available to those who need them. "We don't need to create more programs – there are good ones out there," she wrote on the initiative's website. "But we do need to do two things. We need to streamline access to the help that IS available. And we need to change the culture of mental health so that those in need – and their family members – are able to speak openly about their struggles so that they can seek the care they deserve."prevnext
Chester Bennington would've turned 45 today. Happy birthday and may he rest in peace. 🖤🥀 pic.twitter.com/S5EOfz4wWM— BROTHER (@BrotherHQ) March 20, 2021
In 2019, Talinda appeared on ABC Nws' Life After Suicide podcast. She said Bennington thought he was at a "good place" before his death, following his struggles with addiction and depression. Since his death, Talinda said she has found it helpful to talk with Linkin Park fans on social media. "They were reaching out, saying how sad they were and how they didn't think they could go on because Chester couldn't," Talinda explained, notes PEOPLE. "And I knew that that's the last thing Chester would've wanted."prevnext
Happy Birthday, beautiful sunshine✨March 20, 2021
Happy Birthday, Chester🌟
Linkin Park has been on a hiatus since Bennington's death, but that could be changing soon. Bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell told Dan Really Likes Wine host Dan Nicholl that they were working on new music before the pandemic began. The surviving members have continued to stay in touch even if they cannot get together to record. "For us, with the band, we've been kinda writing and doing that before this all started, so casually at this point we're doing Zoom meetings to eat lunch together and say, 'Hi,'" Farrell explained. "But we're not able to get together and write or do that whole bit. So working at home a little bit, working up ideas."prevnext
happy birthday Chester Bennington,
you are always a legend.
forever will be missed pic.twitter.com/8zo6FwH9J2— Trap Angel (@NaylaDeyuti) March 20, 2021
"Got tears in my eyes even when I promised myself not to cry today.. thanks for sharing this memory with us Talinda. this is so meaningful for us fans too! HAPPY BIRTHDAY angel.. we think of you," one fan wrote in an emotional message on Talinda's Instagram page. "Happy birthday Chester! Thanks so much for inspiring me during my teen years! You will always be a true hero," another fan wrote.prevnext
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The official Linkin Park Instagram page also shared a message to Bennington. This provided fans with another venue to share their memories. "He was an incredible singer. Linkin Park has changed my life. Wherever you are, Chester, stay in peace," one fan wrote. "Thank you Chester for giving the world all the light and love that it sorely lacks. Happy Birthday," another commented.prevnext
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.prev