When Chris Cornell, lead vocalist for Soundgarden, was found dead by hanging some two months ago, the music industry and fandom was cast into mourning. One of the most aggrieved for his passing was good friend Chester Bennington, famed as the front-man for the 2000’s most celebrated rock band Linkin Park. Then on Thursday just this week, the music world was rocked again with some dire news. On what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday, Bennington himself was found dead in his home. Chillingly, he had followed his friend’s macabre example, with the police investigation determining the cause as suicide by hanging.

Echoes of Chris Cornell

Chester Bennington, aged 41, was discovered hanging lifeless on July 20 inside his home at the Palos Verdes Estates, California. The initial news was released by a representative of the Linkin Park frontman. A separate report by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner operations chief Brian Elias has it that law enforcement was called to the Palos Verdes Estates at 9 AM Thursday morning, where responding officers found Bennington dead at the scene. Elias notes that the Medical Examiner is currently in the middle of its death investigation, with a further report set to be released later on in the afternoon.

The death of Bennington has begun receiving comparisons of similarity to the May suicide of Soundgarden lead vocals Chris Cornell, who was his close personal friend.

On the singer’s May 29 funeral services Linkin Park was one of the performers, and Bennington sang a rendition of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” to honor Cornell, whose son Christopher he had been godfather to. Bennington, who was also a front-man for a time with the Stone Temple Pilots and sang lead for Dead by Sunrise, had earlier wrote a letter shortly after Cornell’s suicide calling him an inspiration.

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His description of his friend’s voice as “joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped into one” was surprisingly appropriate for himself.

Grief from old friends

Auditioning for Linkin Park in 1999 had been something of a last shot by Chester Bennington before quitting the music scene. Fortunately, his songwriting chemistry with fellow vocalist Mike Shinoda resulted in their highly acclaimed 2000 debut album “Hybrid Theory.” Here, Bennington’s lyrics of angst, grief, self-loathing and isolation made the band a fixture of rock music in the start of the new millennium.

News of Bennington’s passing caused an outpouring of sorrow from his collaborators, friends and general Linkin Park fans. Mike Shinoda, who worked with Bennington on the band’s latest album “One More Light” which released this May, expressed shock on Twitter upon hearing the news. So had Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky who was further saddened by the fate of her late husband’s friend.