Mike Shinoda: ‘Chester Bennington was up there with Dave Gahan, Freddie Mercury and James Hetfield’

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Mike Shinoda has hailed the talent and legacy and his late Linkin Park bandmate Chester Bennington – putting him in the same category of many of his heroes.

Bennington passed away in July after taking his own life. This weekend saw the likes of System Of A Down and Blink-182 join the band for an all-star tribute gig to the singer, but despite the widespread admiration for Bennington, he remained humble throughout his life. Shinoda would liken him to the frontman of legendary acts such as Depeche Mode, Queen and Metallica.

“It was funny, because he was the kind of guy that when you would compliment his voice, especially early on, he would look away,” Shinoda told Kerrang. “He would deny it, or he would make a self-deprecating comment. While one part of him really enjoyed being the centre of attention, another part of him ran away.

“That was part of the beauty of Chester. And he was inspired by a wide range of singers at different points in his life, people like Dave Gahan, James Hetfield and Freddie Mercury. I would occasionally remind him that he was in that category, but he never agreed with me. He never acknowledged that he was, but in the past few months, dozens of artists have reached out publicly and privately to let us know what an inspiration Chester and the band have been. We’re just so very grateful.”