Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington were voices of their generation, and we tragically lost both to suicide far too young. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
There were many similarities between Cobain and Bennington’s deaths, and the aftermath. Below are 10 of them in no particular order.
Died At Peak Of Popularity
Chester Bennington and Kurt Cobain both died at the peaks of their popularity. While Linkin Park had a much longer career than Nirvana, both bands were at their peak, touring arenas and having just released hit albums.
Had Previously Attempted Suicide
Chester Bennington had a previous suicide attempt in November 2016, and he also left his home with a gun while drinking in 2006. Kurt Cobain attempted suicide with a pill overdose in Rome in March 1994, just a month before his suicide in Seattle.
Kurt Cobain and Chester Bennington both struggled with addiction throughout their lives. Kurt Cobain was in rehab for heroin addiction in Los Angeles at Exodus just days before his death. Chester Bennington was still doing outpatient counseling around the time of his death following a fall 2016 relapse, and alcohol was discovered near his body.
Died At Homes They’d Just Purchased
The Cobains first purchased the three-story, five bedroom, 7,808 square foot Cape Cod-style home, which was built in 1902 and is located in Seattle’s upscale Denny-Blaine neighborhood, in January of 1994 for $1.13 million. At the time, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz lived next door. Less than four months later, on April 8, 1994, Kurt’s lifeless body was discovered by an electrician in the greenhouse located above the property’s garage.
Chester Bennington bought his new family home about 2 months before he hung himself there.
The Linkin Park frontman bought his final house for $2.5 million back in June. The 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house is in an affluent part of L.A. County famous for pristine neighborhoods and an excellent public school system.
Both Kurt and Chester’s deaths led to false and debunked conspiracy theories, with movies like Kurt and Courtney and Soaked in Bleach blatantly cashing in on the fake stories.
Devastated Young Fans
Nirvana and Linkin Park both had young fanbases at the time of the deaths of their lead singers, leading to emotional reactions from fans, including tragically copycat suicides. Talinda Bennington has done a great job communicating with fans dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts with her #FuckDepression movement on social media.
Kurt and Chester both had parents who got divorced when they were young. Kurt’s parents got divorced when he was 7, While Chester was 11 when his parents split. Both were bullied at school, while Chester was sexually abused between the ages of 7 and 13.
Had Major Tours Planned
Nirvana were planning on headlining the Lollapalooza 1994 summer tour, while Linkin Park were set to kick off a huge North American One Might Light tour leg.
Surviving Bandmates Reuniting For Tribute Performances
The surviving members of Linkin Park and Nirvana both reunited for tribute performances, though Nirvana took 20 years to reunite and perform their old material together again to honor Kurt at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and for a club performance that same night at the Saint Vitus bar. Nirvana were joined by Joan Jett, Lorde, St. Vincent, Kim Gordon, J Mascis, and John McAuley. Linkin Park reunited three months after Chester Bennington’s death for a tribute show at the Hollywood Bowl with guest singers including Gavin Rossdale, Blink-182, Alanis Morissette, Oliver Sykes, and many others.
Mike Shinoda debuted “Looking For An Answer” live at the Hollywood Bowl tribute show, and as of this writing Linkin Park are working on recording the song. Foo Fighters recorded “I Should Have Known” in 2011 for Wasting Light, featuring references to Cobain’s death. Krist Novoselic performed on the track, reuniting with Dave Grohl and Pat Smear.
Butch Vig told MTV News about finding himself in the same room as Grohl and his former Nirvana mate Krist Novoselic and watching the pair exorcise old demons on this track. “We had Krist Novoselic come in and play bass [on the song], and I’m not exactly sure what the song’s about, but to me, it seems there’s definitely some references about Kurt Cobain, and it’s one of the most primal, raw things the Foo Fighters have ever done, and I think it’s one of the best tracks on the record,” he said. “It’s distorted and raw, and Dave, the take on the vocals is like the first take he did at the end of the song. He’s just blowing his lungs out. We played the record for some people yesterday, and the whole record is great, but that song, God, it’s quite an emotional roller-coaster ride when you hear it.”
The song has also been said to be about Grohl’s childhood friend Jimmy Swanson, who died in 2008 from a drug overdose.