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Musicians React to Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington's Suicide

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On Thursday, news broke that Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington died by suicide. Linkin Park’s music, and Bennington’s raw and real lyrics, were important to so many fans — but also to so many musicians. Some have taken to social media to express their grief, and offer condolences to his friends and family.

Bennington was open about his struggles with addiction and suicidal ideation. In reaction to his death, a few musicians had messages for people who also might be experiencing suicidal thoughts, or struggling with their mental health.

Paramore’s Hayley Williams, who has been open about experiencing depression, tweeted about an artist’s often challenging role to bring light into a world full of so much darkness.

It’s also important to remember that middle aged men have the highest risk of suicide, compared to any other demographic. Bennington died at age 41. Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, died by suicide just two months ago at the age of 52.

When musicians write songs that resonate with us so deeply, cutting to our core in dark moments when we need them the most, it can be easy to forgot they too carry this darkness. After Cornell’s death, Mighty contributor Darshita Jain wrote a piece addressing this. She said:

Chris’ songs talk about death repeatedly. Cries about self-expression, self-worth, grief and the deep dark pit he lived in, repeatedly. And I never paid attention to the fact that they came from him, his suffering, and instead used them to resonate with my own.

Maybe we should stop using art to say “me too” and listen, really pay attention, to what the words mean, see what the artist is really telling. Not miss the signs, not only use the signs.

Maybe we should stop only responding to art, but really look at it.

Musicians and other people in creative fields — you can access darkness without letting go of the light. We need you to stick around. If you’re ever feeling hopeless, here are some resources that might help:

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741-741.

Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Watch Linkin Park perform “One More Light” in honor of Chris Cornell below:

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.

Image via Creative Commons/obihave

Originally published: July 20, 2017
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