Linkin Park took a moment to remember and honor Chester Bennington’s memory at the 2017 American Music Awards.
The rock band surprised everyone by attending the ceremony. When Mark Cuban made the announcement that they had won the AMA for Favorite Alternative Rock, the mogul thought that they weren’t in attendance — until they walked up to the stage.
After accepting the award for Favorite Alternative Rock Artist, band members Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Rob Bourdon shared a touching message remembering the frontman’s legacy.
“They didn’t know we were gonna be here you guys … but we’re here,” Linkin Park cofounder Mike Shinoda said while receiving the prize, thanking the other nominees Imagine Dragons and twenty one pilots. He then said that members of both bands had reached out following the death of Bennington.
“We want to dedicate this award to him, to his memory, to his talent, to his sense of humor, to his joy,” said Shinoda to the audience. “Whether you’re a fan or an artist, take a moment to appreciate what you’ve got and make Chester proud.”
Chester Bennington, lead singer of the famous alternative-rock group, passed away in mid-July, shocking band members and their millions of fans all over the world who followed Bennington’s musical trajectory. The band canceled their tour in the wake of Bennington’s suicide, and the surprise appearance at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Sunday evening was their first in months.
Following his death, the band posted a moving message on their website. “Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened,” the band wrote, dedicating the letter to Chester. “You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized.”
Two months after his tragic passing, fans mourned and celebrated his legacy in public memorials all around the world. Linkin Park posted an emotional montage video of the many candlelight vigils, tribute concerts and balloon send offs that took place in countries such as Peru, Greece, Indonesia, Russia, Kazakhstan and more.
The band has also been on the forefront promoting mental health awareness like never before, and back in October, they held a concert in Bennington’s memory at the Hollywood Bowl. Linkin Park also launched the Give to the One More Light Fund to support Bennington’s favorite Music for Relief program, Solar Suitcases, as well as people and families dealing with mental and emotional health related issues.
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