10 Tributes To Chester Bennington That Make My Heart Happy

On July 20th, 2017, the world lost a legend. Chester Bennington passed away four years ago today, but his presence is as strong as ever. With fans around the world dedicated to making Chester proud, his legacy and influence is sure to live on forever. Nearly every modern band look up to Chester and Linkin Park, so it is no surprise that many current frontmen are huge fans. After Chester’s passing many bands have performed tributes to the icon. Seeing these performances create a bittersweet moment; one that makes it feel like Chester is still there. Here are 10 emotional tributes to Chester Bennington that make my heart happy.

Godsmack – Crawling

Godsmack – Crawling

Growing up in the 90’s, feeling deep emotion while listening to Godsmack was never something I thought I would ever feel. While it is true that Godsmack have mellowed out in recent years, I still never saw this one coming. During a live cover of Crawling, Vocalist Sully Erna delivers an impressive, powerful, and emotional performance.

The performance takes place after a touching speech regarding the loss of talented voices in music. Erna reveals that this is a last-minute decision and the band didn’t even really rehearse for the cover. Perhaps it is because the decision comes from the heart, but despite the lack of preparation, this performance is fantastic. The emotion and power in the chorus really makes it for me. This is the one tribute I never heard previously (before compiling content for this article), but I know I will be returning to this one whenever I think of Chester. I ended up adding 11 tributes to this list because this one was too good to skip. Consider this one a little bonus in Chester’s honor.

Papa Roach – Forever and In The End

Towards the end of Papa Roach’s popular emotional track Forever, the band incorporates a fitting tribute to Chester Bennington. The transition is seamless and fits so well, it is almost as if the track was meant to show respect to Chester. While the song was originally written about divorce, the emotion and feeling of loss translates well to the subject of losing a friend. Following the emotional performance, singer Jacoby Shaddix gives a speech regarding mental illness, including substance abuse. The emotional frontman then encourages the audience to show love to each other. This is truly an act that would make Chester proud.

Corey Taylor Dedicates Through The Glass To Chester

Corey Taylor – Through The Glass

Before playing Through the Glass, Corey Taylor weeps and explains the track was one of Chester’s favorite Stone Sour songs. The rockstar then dedicates the song to Chester, in what is an incredibly vulnerable and candid performance. This tribute is especially heartwarming, as the typically aggressive Slipknot frontman is feeling the deep emotion that has affected us all following the loss of Chester. Slipknot and Linkin Park were brothers in the 2000’s rock scene and beyond, and this bond is a huge factor that contributes to the emotional delivery in the performance.

Motionless In White – One Step Closer

One Step Closer – Motionless In White

There are plenty of candid and improvised performances within this list of heartwarming tributes, but Motionless In White’s performance is definitely the most unprepared. This performance of One Step Closer takes place only one day following the death of Chester Bennington.

The band typically plays a cover at some point during their live set. This was the perfect opportunity to pay tribute Chester, a hero of singer Chris Motionless and the bands. Motionless is known for his great stage presence and speeches, but this one is exceptionally touching and comforting. Before performing the nu-metal anthem One Step Closer, Motionless explains that many fans of the band are feeling the same emotions, and he suggests that they reach out and help each other. Having such an intelligent and emotionally conscious speech only a day following the incident shows the integrity of the frontman.

To add to this tribute, the performance itself is devastating. Rather than performing a touching song, Motionless In White give tribute to Linkin Park in a way that would make Chester proud in a whole other way. Without practice or planning, the band nails One Step Closer in a way that directly proves the influence Chester had on Motionless In White. This is true for many other bands in the metalcore scene as well.

Linkin Park Feat. Jeremy McKinnon – A Place For My Head

Linkin Park Feat. Jeremy McKinnon – A Place For My Head

While this performance of A Place For My Head is definitely one of the least “emotional” performances on this list, it is definitely one of the sickest. There is a ton of comfort in hearing a Linkin Park song performed in a way that does true justice to the original nu-metal banger. Like Motionless In White’s cover of One Step Closer, this performance of A Place For My Head goes hard. Is there possibly a more fitting way to honor one of Linkin Park’s heaviest songs ever than to bring back Jeremy McKinnon for a vocal feature?

The performance is from the Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington concert, an emotional tribute show that took place at the Hollywood Bowl and was livestreamed online. A Place For My Head is one of my favorite Linkin Park songs ever, so my mind was blown when I saw Jeremy McKinnon walk out during the initial livestream back in 2017.

The A Day To Remember frontman previously lent his lungs to the song during Linkin Park’s surprise performance at the Van’s Warped Tour on June 22nd, 2014. McKinnon was brought back for Linkin Park’s 2017 Chester Bennington Tribute show at the Hollywood Bowl. The best part of this performance is that Jeremy McKinnon didn’t just bring his all to the delivery; the homesick singer showed tribute to Chester by mimicking both his mannerisms and improvisations in a live setting. Towards the end of the heavy performance, McKinnon shouts “stay away from me mother fucker”, just as Chester always did. There is a ton of love and inspiration poured into this by McKinnon, and seeing this performance makes my heart happy.

Linkin Park Feat. Oli Sykes and Zedd – Crawling

Linkin Park Feat. Oli Sykes – Crawling

It is public knowledge that Linkin Park were a huge influence to Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes. The Sempiternal frontman has previously said that seeing the band live as a kid directly influenced his decision to become a musician. Chester has previously said kind things about Oli Sykes on stage, and he definitely approved of his band and career. Oli Sykes has now been passed the torch, but not due the happiest of circumstances. Despite this, the frontman has evolved his band in a huge way, with many even citing Bring Me The Horizon as “the Linkin park of this generation” and “the biggest band in the scene”.

While Linkin Park will always be incredibly original, and Chester Bennington cannot be replaced by any means, it is touching to see how far Oli Sykes has gone, and how much influence Linkin Park has had on the development of the band. While Bring Me The Horizon’s 2015 record That’s The Spirit first showed a Linkin Park inspired shift in sound, even the band’s more recent tracks such as 2020’s Teardrops and 1X1 show strong Linkin Park similarities (especially the Meteora era). Bring Me The Horizon remains a fresh band that consistently sets the trends and pushes the envelop, if this sounds familiar that’s because Linkin Park was definitely that band of the 20’s.

Linkin Park Feat. Jonathan Davis – One Step Closer

Linkin Park and Jonathan Davis have had a long friendship, and fans are no stranger to his connection with One Step Closer. The Korn frontman originally was featured on 1Stp Klosr from the Hybrid Theory remix album Reanimation. Davis comes in during the glitchy bridge repeating a catchy melodic segment until exploding out with his famous croons layed above Chester’s iconic screams. Davis brought everything full circle by contributing to the Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington tribute show.

The version of One Step Closer performed at the tribute show was the traditional version, which lacks Jonathan’s added bridge. This faithful performance has Davis filling in for Chester’s parts in the original track. Instead of singing his parts during the breakdown, Jonathan screams his heart out for his fallen friend. It is only fitting that a fellow nu-metal iconic such as Davis would come on stage for one of the biggest nu-metal anthems of all time.

Korn additionally dedicated a whole encore set to Chester during a live show. This performance can be viewed below.

Sum 41 Feat. Mike Shinoda – Faint

Sum 41 Feat. Mike Shioda – Faint

This tribute is a bit backwards. Instead of Linkin Park recruiting another vocalist in tribute of Chester, Sum 41 brought Mike Shinoda on stage during their performance at the 2018 Reading Festival. The performance is high energy, a ton of fun, and a fitting tribute during a monumental festival performance. Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley is one of the most praised guest vocalists by Linkin Park fans, with many hoping they collaborate more in the future. No one can replace Chester, but fans can’t help but compliment on how well Whibley’s vocal performance fits in with Linkin Park’s earlier material.

It would be cool to see a studio version of this cover be released. Perhaps even a full Chester Bennington tribute album to raise proceeds for the One More Light Fund! This would be a great way for bands new or old to give tribute to the late icon, and also raise profits for a fitting cause, all in Chester’s name. Check out what Sum 41 has to say about the performance, Chester, and the Linkin Park family below.

It was such a blast to perform this song which is one my favorites, but also nerve racking at the same time. With no rehearsal and practicing in a hotel room a few nights before all I wanted to do was to come in with the utmost respect and try my best to honor the music, Chester, Mike and the Linkin Park band and LP family. No one will ever come close to Chester and that’s not what it was about for any of us. It was purely about the love of the music.

Disturbed – Hold on to Memories

Disturbed is typically known for their heavy riffs and deep vocals, but today the band is here to make us cry. Disturbed dedicates their track Holding On To Memories to heroes like Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell who left the world far too early. The track is described with purpose to “honor those no longer with us, and a celebration of their life and the light they brought to those closest to them”. The official live video for the track showcases touching photos of the band and its members with loved ones they miss dearly. At 3:52 a touching photo of Draiman and Bennington is shown, which is sure to make any fan emotional. This video and the song are real tearjerkers, especially on a day like July 20th. Check out the video above, and cherish the memories of Chester and any other lost loves ones while you do.

Additionally, Disturbed dedicated their track Watch You Burn to vocalists that left the world far too soon. Before the video Draiman conducts a study proving that mental health is not only an issue with rockstars and entertainment personalities. The Down With The Sickness singer asks fans to raise their hand if they have (or know anyone personally) who have struggled with their mental health. Nearly everyone raises their hand, including the whole band themselves. The video is touching, and it is great to see huge bands like Disturbed use their platform to educate the world on the topic of mental health.

Mike Shinoda – One More Light

This one is absolutely heart wrenching. Fans and fellow musicians can feel and express their emotions regarding the loss of Chester Bennington, but no one knows the pain more than his friends and family. Mike Shinoda was more than a bandmate to Chester. The two were brothers for nearly two decades. The genuine sadness and sorrow in Shinoda’s voice as he sings the saddest and most emotional Linkin Park song ever is sure to cause your gut to sink.

The performance is devastating, yet heartwarming. This is what a true catharsis is like. The band put on the Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington tribute show for this exact reason. It was important to get on stage again and give tribute, not just for their friend Chester, but for themselves too. Shinoda and the band were able to mourn with their beloved fans in an intimate way. The performance above carries a ton of emotional weight following the recent death of Chester at the time, while the video below is a more polished performance from two years later.

An Entire Stadium Full of Fans – In The End

Mike Shinoda and the Crowd – In The End

We mentioned a catharsis earlier, but this one is just out of this world. Linkin Park chose not to recruite a friend to sing Chester’s parts during Linkin Park’s performance of In The End at the Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington. Instead the band opted to allow the fans to fill the Hollywood Bowl with their voices to show tribute to their beloved singer. After a heartwarming and comforting speech regarding the performance, fans, and Chester’s death, Shinoda asks the fans to sing so loud that Chester hears them. I am not the most religious person, but I would like to think that they succeeded, and somewhere out there Chester is proud.

Take Care of Your Mental Health And Make Chester Proud

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, please call 800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We are all in this together, feel free to reach out to anyone apart of the Metal Shell family regarding any difficulties in life. We are all in this together. The music scene is a community and we are all in this together.

If mental health awareness and suicide prevention is a cause you care deeply about, please consider donating to The One More Light Fund. This fund was created to help individual’s struggling with their mental health in Chester’s name

Take some time to pay tribute to Chester today in your own way. I recommend watching some live performances featuring Chester, such as Live in Texas or from Rock in Rio 2012. Videos from each can be found below.

Live in Texas – Linkin Park
A Place For My Head (Rock in Rio 2012) – Linkin Park

Last but not least, here is a picture of my buddy and I visiting the Chester Bennington Mural in Los Angeles, CA. Rest in peace Chester, we miss you very much. I promise to make you proud.

Chester Bennington Mural