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LINKIN PARK

Members

Biography

Founded as a group of school friends, LINKIN PARK evolved circa 1996 in Los Angeles blending an amalgam of Nu-Metal, Hardcore and Hip-Hop with Pop sensibilities to create a band descriptively entitled HYBRID THEORY. From the off the band stood out from the pack with their novel use of two vocalists, MC Mike Shinoda and lead singer Chester Bennington, both as raucous as the other. This formula would set LINKIN PARK above the Nu-Metal Rap-Core pack and eventually propel the band's debut album 'Hybrid Theory' onto the best sellers rankings shifting over 8 million copies in North America and charting high world-wide.

The original incarnation of the band came when Shinoda and guitarist Brad Delson, previously of THE PRICKS, forged XERO during 1996. This group was brought up to strength with the addition of drummer Rob Bourdon, bassist Phoenix, DJ Joe Hahn and Mark Wakefield. The latter would bail out (to become the manager for TAPROOT) as did Phoenix, the bassist opting to tour with his other act SNAX.

XERO morphed into HYBRID THEORY and set about the search for another vocalist. Auditions were done with Phoenix, Arizona native Chester Bennington, a veteran of two albums as frontman for GREY DAZE, which secured the position. This revised line up, still as HYBRID THEORY, cut a six track mini album. Such was the band's repute even at this formative stage a record company bidding war erupted after which Warner Bros emerged as the victors. However, legal complications with a band entitled HYBRID forced a name change. After pondering on CLEAR Bennington suggested 'Lincoln Park', this evolving into the now familiar LINKIN PARK. Former bass player Phoenix would also be re-inducted into the ranks.

The debut Don Gilmore produced album '[Hybrid Theory]' attracted massive attention in 2001 scoring high in the Billboard charts courtesy of the 'One Step Closer' and 'Crawling' singles and remaining doggedly resolute in its grip there for many months. LINKIN PARK would also benefit from appearances in several high profile movie scores with 'One Step Closer' turning up on the 'Dracula 2000' album, 'Points Of Authority' an the Adam Sadler movie score 'Little Nicky' and 'Pushing Me Away' used for the 'Valentine' soundtrack.

As sales of '[Hybrid Theory]' surpassed the 2 million mark LINKIN PARK put in their first international touring spree covering Australia, New Zealand and Japan prior to German festival gigs. They then formed part of the 'Ozzfest' international touring festival in the summer of 2001. In order to maintain momentum a third single 'Papercut' was lifted from the album, the video for which saw Bourdon in a special effects mask giving the drummer four nostrils!

With '[Hybrid Theory]' having racked up 4 million sales by December the band announced a package tour, comprising CYPRESS HILL, ADEMA and DJ ZERO, dubbed 'Projeckt: Revolution' commencing in Colorado Springs on the 29th of January upfront of recording a follow up.

LINKIN PARK would feature heavily on the 'Family Values' live compilation album donating Runaway' and 'One Step Closer'. The latter track featuring a guesting Aaron Lewis of STAIND. Chester Bennington would also guest on the STONE TEMPLE PILOTS track 'Wonderful'.

LINKIN PARK, being recognised for having the biggest selling album in America during the previous year, picked up a prestigious Grammy award in February 2002, winning the honour of 'Best Rock Performance' for 'Crawling'. Meantime 'Hybrid Theory' would be given a new lease of life, re-issued as 'Re-animation' with all tracks remixed by major name artists such as MARILYN MANSON, Jonathon Davis of KORN, Stephen Carpenter from the DEFTONES and Aaron Lewis of STAIND. The Jay Gordon remix of 'Points Of Authority' was pulled as the first single. Meantime the video for 'In The End' won the category for 'Best Rock Video' at the MTV Music Video Awards, the trophy being presented to the band by former VAN HALEN vocalists DAVID LEE ROTH and SAMMY HAGAR.

Mike Shinoda and Joseph Hahn would both guest on the 2002 debut album from REACH.

Chester Bennington was reported to rejoin his former band GREY DAZE for a one off benefit gig slated for September 7th at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, the show being organised to raise funds for Bennington's former GREY DAZE band mate Bobby Benish, suffering from a brain tumour. However, this venture would subsequently be cancelled.

LINKIN PARK's hugely anticipated second album, 'Meteora', set for a late March 2003 release easily attained the US number 1 spot shifting over 810,000 copies in its first week and had surpassed the million marker by its second week at the top spot. 'Meteora' also scored out of the box no. 1's in the UK, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland. In New Zealand the band gained a world first with both the album 'Meteora' and single 'Somewhere I Belong' occupying the no. 1 spots in their respective charts.

The band announced a set of headline dates with acts with JURASSIC 5 and MUDVAYNE upfront of a summer stadium tour of the US allied with METALLICA and LIMP BIZKIT with support coming from DEFTONES and MUDVAYNE. The band would not have everything their own way though, as LINKIN PARK were forced to cancel no less than twelve European shows in June after singer Chester Bennington was hospitalized due to severe back and abdominal pains. Some compensation came shortly after when it was announced that 'Meteora' had shifted over three million units in the US.

LINKIN PARK, promoting the quickfire 'Live In Texas' album / DVD release, put in a tour of major UK venues during November, supported by LOSTPROPHETS. The year closed out on a high for the band as, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the entertainment industry's data information system that tracks point of sale purchases of recorded music product, 'Meteora' landed the honours of third highest selling album in the USA during 2003.

Continued touring in North America saw the band packaged with P.O.D. for six weeks of shows commencing in January of 2004. Summer festivals in June saw appearances at the 'Glasgow Green' event in Scotland, the UK's 'Download' show at Castle Donington and the 'Super Bock Super Rock' festival in Lisbon, Portugal. LINKIN PARK then allied themselves with KORN, LESS THAN JAKE, THE USED, DOWNSET and Rapper SNOOP DOGG for the 'Projekt Revolution' US amphitheater tour running from July through September.

The band used their status to good effect in the aftermath of August's Hurrican Charly, which ravaged Florida. The band's concert at the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa raised $65,000 for the Red Cross Hurricane Charley Relief Fund, the band donating $5 for every ticket sold.

Chester Bennington made his presence felt outside of the band too, putting in a guest vocal on LIMP BIZKIT's DJ Lethal's solo single 'State Of The Art' and on KORN's cover version of NINE INCH NAILS' 'Head Like A Hole'. Mike Shinoda would be tapped to remix 'Enjoy The Silence', the first single on a DEPECHE MODE collection 'Depeche Mode Remixes 81-04'. LINKIN PARK returned to the top of the Billboard album charts in December with 'Collision Course', a collaboration with JAY Z.

April 2005 saw an announcement that LINKIN PARK rapper Mike Shinoda would release his JAY-Z produced debut solo album, 'The Rising Tied', under the moniker FORT MINOR. Chester Bennington collaborated with Z-TRIP on the track 'Walking Dead' included on the DJ's 'Shifting Gear' album.

The following month it was learned that LINKIN PARK was attempting to extracate itself from their contract with Warner Music. Apparently the band had been asked by the label to perform at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company's IPO, a request they denied. In more positive news, LINKIN PARK would be chosen as one of the leading US Rock acts to appear at the 2nd July 'Live 8' concert in Philadelphia. That same month found LINKIN PARK frontman Chester Bennington in the studio recording his debut solo album with ORGY musicians Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck acting in the production role. Bennington also engaged in other endeavours, SNOW WHITE TAN and JULIEN-K, both again with the ORGY pairing of Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh, as well as live covers band BUCKET OF WEENIES. Bennington and JULIEN-K included a track 'Morning After' on the 'Underworld: Evolution' movie soundtrack.

In the wake of the New Orleans hurricane Katrina disaster, Chester Bennington involved himself in a surprising musical union with M?TLEY CRÜE, entering CMT Studios in Nashville in early September to cut a new version of their hit 'Home Sweet Home' as a benefit single. The two acts also paired up for a live rendition of 'Home Sweet Home' on MTV's 'ReAct Now: Music & Relief' TV show.

The single 'What I've Done' shot straight to the number one spot in the USA in April 2007. European shows in May saw support from Swedes BLINDSIDE. The group then engaged in a series of European festival performances, such as 'Pinkpop' in Holland, 'Rock Am Ring' and 'Rock im Park' in Germany and the UK 'Download' event, notably pre-empting these with two intimate club shows at Berlin's Kesselhaus on April 28th and London's Astoria on May 3rd.

Mike Shinoda held an art show, entitled 'Glorious Excess (Born)', at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles from July 12th to August 3rd 2008.

In May 2009 LINKIN PARK issued a new single, 'New Divide' being the theme song for the movie 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen'. That summer the band co-headlined the inaugural 'Sonisphere' European festivals alongside METALLICA, NINE INCH NAILS and HEAVEN AND HELL.

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