He debuted in 1993, when he was just 17
Before Linkin Park, Chester formed a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends?, and released a cassette (back then, releasing a cassette is a big deal) in 1993. Soon after, he formed another band called Grey Daze and released three albums. Eventually, he left in 1998, and by then, Chester was almost ready to give up on his music journey until Linkin Park came knocking.
Linkin Park’s search for a replacement led to Chester’s new career
Linkin Park was formed in 1996, but it did not take off well. During its formative years, it was called Xero. The band members, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn, Dave “Phoenix” Farrell and Mark Wakefield, could not land any record deal. Eventually, two members, Farrell and Wakefield, left the band.
In 1998, Xero recruited Chester, changed the name to Hybrid Theory and eventually to Linkin Park.
And the rest is history.
For the audition to Linkin Park, he recorded it in a day
In order to record the song for the audition to join Linkin Park (remember, it was called Xero then, but let’s stick with Linkin Park), Chester missed his birthday celebration. Guess his dedication paid off.
He has issues with drugs and alcohol since he was young
Even since he was 11, he had started abusing drugs and alcohol. However, he has since progressively overcoming his addictions from 2007, after marrying his second wife, and in 2011, declared that he was sober.
He worked in Burger King before starting his professional music career
When he was in school, he was bullied quite often due to his small built. And before he formed his first band, he was working in Burger King.
He had six children, with one being adopted
Chester had his first child from a previous unmarried relationship. Following that, he adopted a son, and had one child with his first wife. He then had three children with his second wife, therefore outliving six children.
He hasn’t been the same since his best friend, Chris Cornell, passed away
On 18 May 2017, Chris Cornell, a lead singer from the band Soundgarden, allegedly hung himself in his bathroom. Chris had been a close friend of Chester. According to Chester’s friends, Chester hasn’t been the same since Chris’s death. The day when Chester died was also Chris’s Birthday.
His bandmates did not expect this
In fact, one of them apparently even went to pick him up, only to find police outside the house. That day, they were also supposed to be attending a photo shoot. Two hours before the news of Chester’s death, they even released its latest music video.
They were just as shocked as the world.
He loved his kids a lot
Earlier this year, he had quit a tour because he wanted to spend more time with his kids. Here’s what he said:
“I had so much fun. I actually still get to play with those guys every once in awhile, I have a deep deep love. The only reason why I’m not doing it now is my kids, they would cry every time I would go on the road with STP. When I leave on tour with Linkin Park, they’re like, ‘Okay, we’ll see you when you get back.’ They understand what I’m doing, but when I would leave with STP they would cry. I started realizing, I think they thought I was choosing to do that over being at home with them, because I would be done with Linkin Park and coming home. It was just too hard on my family, so I basically was like, you know what, I’ve got to stop being selfish here. When I’m not doing Linkin Park, I’ve got to be home with my babies.”
He has a lot of pets. A lot.
According to a 2016 interview, he admitted to having a “farm” in his house, with two pigs. goats, three bantam chickens, a tortoise, six dogs, two cats and fishes.
He woke up very early every morning to do Pilates, and his life seemed to be perfect
While it’s hard to imagine, he said in the same interview that he woke up at five every morning for one hour of Pilates. And like a true father, he sent his kids to school and exercise for an hour before working. In the interview, which was published in December 2016, he even mentioned that he had a “pretty awesome life”.