Heart singer Ann Wilson discussed seeing late Linkin Park and Stone Temple Pilots singer Chester Bennington the day that Chris Cornell died in a new Rolling Stone interview.
“Someone came into my dressing room and said ‘Chester would like to talk to you’ – he was really upset,” Wilson remembers. She didn’t know the Linkin Park singer well. But Bennington might have known how much Wilson meant to Cornell, which would have been a comfort. The Soundgarden singer used to jam with the Heart sisters at their Seattle home in the Nineties. In 2013, Cornell inducted Heart into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And on the day he died, Wilson would honor the late singer by covering Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.”
“This was just a couple of weeks before [Chester] decided to take himself,” Wilson says. “So I went in. He was really a mess. So anxious and sad and had to go onstage in a minute. I think that Chris’s departure hit [Chester] hard because he recognized the impulse. He had been hit by this news. There was a lot of fear there. I said to him, let’s just breathe here and look in each other’s eyes and go ‘we’re still here right now, let’s just do this.’ A couple of weeks later, he was gone.”
“They seemed to resemble each other,” Wilson says. “I think they knew each other and they had probably commiserated. I wouldn’t say one made the other happen, but Chris’s death obviously affected Chester deeply.”
Cornell died by suicide in May 2017 while Bennington died by suicide in July 2017.
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.