Jared Leto Pays Moving Tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell at VMAs


During Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, Jared Leto gave a moving tribute to rock legends Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, who both died by suicide earlier this year.

Leto, of 30 Seconds to Mars, had toured with both Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, and Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden. In his speech, Leto said:

MTV asked me to come here today to say a few words about Chester and the late, great, Chris Cornell, two artists I had the absolute pleasure of touring with. They were close friends with one another, Chester even singing the cover of the classic “Hallelujah” at Chris’ funeral. Chester said of Chris, “Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache, all wrapped up into one.” Just weeks later, Chester himself was gone. Chester was my friend as he was to so many. And witnessing his life taught me important things, especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams, and being kind and caring while doing it. When I think about him, Chester, I see his face, which was always smiling. I think about his heart which he wore on his sleeve. I think how kindly he treated me, my brother, Tomo, our band. I think about his wife and his six, six incredible children. I think about his family. I think about his band, who were really his brothers, and I remember his voice. At once ferocious and delicate, that voice will live forever. If there is anyone out there who is watching this tonight, who feels like there is no hope, hear me now. You are not alone. There is always a way forward, reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up, and I promise you this: the absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.


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