I first heard Chester’s vocals in “System” as featured on the Queen of the Damned soundtrack. They were cool then, but I think at that point, I really liked the music more than his singing. It was creepy and haunting and reminded me of the movie. It took me a few rounds of listening to the soundtrack to learn that he was the talent behind the vocals of the song, as well as the new to the scene band, LinkinPark. Then, I was hooked.
Chester was a large part of why I like LP initially, but then I discovered Mike Shinoda. As a rapper, songwriter, keyboardist, vocalist and guitarist for the group, he and Chester are the two biggest reasons why I really enjoy their music. Their sound is unlike any I’ve heard. “Hit the Floor” is perhaps in my mind, one of the best examples of how they’ve pulled together a unique pairing of rock and rhyme. Sure there are others, but they are in my mind, the best. Each album tells a story through incredible high energy rock and soft ballads, both of which are led by Chester.
The man can sing. Wait, scratch that. The boy has pipes and he can blow. With a vocal range of around A2 to F5, he is in one word, impressive. He is far more superior of a singer than many of today’s pop performers and that’s not just my opinion. He recently placed at #46 on Hit Parader’s list of “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists.” But it’s not his ability to scream/sing that impresses me. It’s the way he can lift his tone from a soft lyric to a powerful hang note. Instead of telling you, check it out for yourself. Try the 3:35 marker in “Waiting for the End,” from the “Thousand Suns” album. Without breaking into a scream he hits a note that is so beautiful I am sure singers, aspiring and popular, envy. Just look on Google and you will find countless questions looking for insight on “how to sing like Chester Bennington.”
In 2005 Chester teamed up with Mötley Crüe to cover the band’s epic “Home Sweet Home” to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims. While there are a lot other examples of his incredible vocals, this song has always been a favorite of mine and its role in helping to contribute to rebuilding the New Orleans, a city I have a profound and indescribable connection to, makes it even more special.