Chester Bennington, the Linkin Park lead singer whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 41.
Los Angeles Coroner spokesman Brian Elias said authorities were investigating Bennington's death, which was first broken by the website TMZ, as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, but no additional details were available.
His death was reportedly caused by hanging, according to TMZ.
Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was "shocked and saddened."
Dave Farrell, the bassist, simply tweeted: "Heartbroken".
"Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends," Warner Bros. Records CEO and Chairman Cameron Stang said in a statement.
The Arizona-born singer was a close friend of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, who tragically died, also by suicide, earlier this year.
He performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at Cornell's funeral, and wrote a moving open letter to the music star after his death, describing how Cornell had "a pure and unrivalled talent" and " inspired me in many ways you could never have known".
Chris Cornell, who died in May 2017
He was the godfather of Cornell's 11-year-old son, Chris. Cornell's 53rd birthday would have been Thursday.
"The Cornell family is overwhelmed by the heartbreaking news about Chester Bennington which tragically comes so soon after their family's own loss," said a Cornell family spokesperson.
"They open up their loving arms to Chester's family and share in the sorrow with all those who loved him."
"Just when I thought my heart couldn't break any more," Cornell's wife Vicky tweeted on Thursday on hearing of Bennignton's death.
Rockers, actors and other celebrities were quick to pay tribute to the singer, whose band has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide.
Metallica's Lars Ulrich described Bennington as "gracious, kind & humble".
"A rare combination in Rock & Roll. Deeply saddened..." he tweeted.
On social media, Linkin Park fans have been quick to mourn his passing.
The Grammy Award-winning group's debut Hybrid Theory, which became the soundtrack to many people's teenage years, sold 10 million copies after its release in 2000.
It featured the megahit and anthem, "In the End." They sold another 6 million with 2003's multiplatinum "Meteora." Both albums explored feelings of frustration and fury.
The success helped Linkin Park become Billboard's No. 1 act of the decade for rock songs and alternative songs.
The band also sold millions with its remix album, "Reanimation," and its mash-up record with Jay-Z, "Collision Course." They won Grammys for best hard rock performance in 2001 for "Crawling" and best rap/sung collaboration for "Numb/Encore" in 2005.
In addition to the Grammys, the band had won five American Music Awards, four MTV VMA Awards, 10 MTV Europe Music Awards and scores of other accolades.
The band recently performed in the UK on the European leg of their One More Light world tour, which saw them play to packed venues in London and Manchester.
The band's seventh and most recent album, One More Light, was released in May. It was a CD that divided critics and fans alike for its embrace of moody pop. One song on the album, "Heavy," opens with the words: "I don't like my mind right now."
The band has collaborated with many artists over the years including Jay-Z and, more recently, London grime star Stormzy for a track on their new album called Good Goodbye.
Stormzy posted on Twitter shortly after the news broke, writing: "I am heartbroken you do not know what someone's going through serious. Prayers up for your family right now my brother."
In April this year, while promoting their latest tour in London, Bennington opened up during a Q&A session following a playback of a few tracks from One More Light.
The singer spoke openly about his state of mind when they started working on the new album.
He admitted to "hating the world", adding: "I had a song in my phone at the start of the process called I Hate The World Right Now. "
"Mostly the suffering that I was bringing on was self-imposed. All these thoughts were stuck in my head. It was not healthy. I remember thinking that I wanted to be left alone."
Bennington was married to his second wife, Talinda, and is survived by six children.