The members of the group said the AMA producers had no idea they were going to be there, which explained why Mark Cuban was at first prepared to accept the award on their behalf.
Mike Shinoda thanked fans for voting for the award, and the other two artists nominated, Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots. He said those bands all said the same wonderful things about Bennington that their fans around the world said.
"We want to dedicate this award to him, to his memory, to his talent, to his sense of humor, to his joy," Shinoda said. "And remember, you guys, all of you, tonight, whether you are a fan or an artist, I want you guys to take a moment to appreciate what you've got and make Chester proud. Thank you guys so much."
Bennington died on July 20 at age 41 from suicide by hanging. He was survived by his widow, Talina Bentley, and six children.
This was Linkin Park's sixth American Music Awards trophy and first since 2012. They also won Favorite Alternative Artist in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2012.