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Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington died by hanging, L.A. County coroner says

Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington died by hanging at his Palos Verdes Estates home, the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed Friday.

An employee discovered the 41-year-old’s body Thursday morning hanging from a belt on a bedroom door inside his home in the 2800 block of Via Victoria, said Ed Winter, spokesman for the L.A. County medical examiner-coroner. A half-empty bottle of alcohol was found in the room, he said.

A suicide note was not found, Winter said.

An autopsy had not been performed on Bennington on Friday.

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Firefighters received a call about 9 a.m. regarding a cardiac arrest at the Palos Verdes Estates’ home, said Joey Napoli, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The report indicated the male victim had hanged himself, he said.

On Thursday, Linkin Park co-founder Mike Shinoda reacted to Bennington’s death, saying he was “shocked and heartbroken.”

Warner Bros. Records CEO and Chairman Cameron Strang said in a statement, “Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed.”

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In an 2007 interview with Noisecreep, Bennington opened up about his struggles with drugs and alcohol addiction.

“I’m not one of those guys who thinks being anonymous is all that great,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with people knowing that I had a drinking problem. That’s who I am, and I’m kind of lucky in a lot of ways ’cause I get to do something about it. I get to grow as a person through it. It’s kind of a cool thing. It’s not cool to be an alcoholic, meaning it’s not cool to go drink and be a … . It’s cool to be a part of recovery. This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I’ve been going through in one way or another.”

In interviews with Kerrang! magazine and Team Rock, Bennington said he was sexually abused as a child.

“It destroyed my self-confidence. Like most people, I was too afraid to say anything. I didn’t want people to think I was gay or that I was lying. It was a horrible experience,” he told Team Rock.

Linkin Park’s debut, “Hybrid Theory,” sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. The hard rock act went on to win two Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration with Jay-Z.

Bennington’s vocals on songs such as “Crawling” and “In the End” helped drive Linkin Park into stardom.

Bennington, a native of Phoenix, had a career in music that spanned more than two decades. In addition to his work with Linkin Park, he also performed with Stone Temple Pilots.

When he wasn’t performing onstage, Bennington used his celebrity to promote causes about which he was passionate, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ “Ink, Not Mink” campaign.

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“PETA will always remember Chester Bennington as a musical powerhouse and a powerful force for animal rights,” PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien said in a statement Thursday. “The world lost a kind heart today.”

Bennington is survived by his wife, Talinda Bennington, and six children.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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