Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. The members of the band are Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, Joe Hahn and Brad Delson. Formed in 1996 as a side project of the hip hop group Xero Shoes, Linkin Park rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory which became one of the world’s best-selling albums.
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000).
Biography of the Artist
Neil Z. Yeung is the author of this piece.
Linkin Park, a band formed at the crossroads of aggressive metal and beat-driven hip-hop, became one of the most successful acts of the early twenty-first century by fusing elements from various genres into their music, including hardcore rap, raucous punk, atmospheric electronic, and even polished pop stylings. Despite being saddled with the despised nu-metal and rap-rock genre labels, they quickly developed into a more sophisticated beast. Indeed, they were a hybrid of forces, relying as much on the vocal interplay between singer Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda as on the band’s muscled instrumentation, which layered DJ Hahn’s effects atop heavy, processed guitars and pounding percussion, as their original band name and debut album title suggested. Pain and catharsis remained at their heart, regardless of their orientation. They stayed ahead of the curve without sacrificing heaviness or chart success from the commercial peak of their hip-hop-influenced, multi-platinum breakthrough albums Hybrid Theory (2000) and Meteora (2003), through a brief electronic phase (2010’s A Thousand Suns), and finally to their final pop moment (2017’s One More Light). Frontman Chester Bennington died only months after the release of their seventh and last album as the original band, bringing an end to a nearly two-decade career that featured five chart-topping albums and tens of millions of records sold across the world.
In 1996, drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, and MC/vocalist Mike Shinoda founded the rap-rock band Xero while still in high school in Southern California. Soon after, bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, vocalist Mark Wakefield, and DJ/art student Joseph Hahn joined, and the band began courting labels while performing in their hometown of Los Angeles. Wakefield left the lineup when few businesses showed interest in Xero’s self-titled demo tape (he would later resurface as the manager for Taproot). In 1998, they relaunched as Hybrid Theory and released an eponymous EP, with new vocalist Chester Bennington sharing vocal duties with Shinoda in what would become a key element of their trademark sound. Still trying to establish an audience, they were discovered by Warner Bros. and given a new name: Linkin Park, a misspelled allusion to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park. The band went into the studio with Don Gilmore soon after, with Warner Bros. vice-president Jeff Blue’s help, to record what would become a diamond-certified global hit.
Linkin Park’s first album, Hybrid Theory, was released in the autumn of 2000 and was a homage to the band’s history. “Crawling” and “In the End” were huge radio successes, with the latter topping the Billboard Modern Rock chart while also reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100, demonstrating the band’s broad popularity. Linkin Park joined the Family Values Tour and performed alongside Cypress Hill, resulting in the band performing over 320 concerts in 2001. Hybrid Theory had earned three Grammy nominations and had sold over seven million copies by January 2002. (Sales eventually surpassed 10 million, gaining Hybrid Theory “diamond status” and making it one of the most successful debuts ever.) Despite their rapid ascent, Linkin Park spent the rest of the year hunkered down in the studio, working on a follow-up album with producer Don Gilmore. Meanwhile, the platinum album’s timely summer release Reanimation provided remixed versions of Hybrid Theory’s songs by renowned faces from bands like Korn, Deftones, Orgy, Jurassic 5, the Roots, Taproot, Marilyn Manson, Staind, and Dilated Peoples, which helped satisfy the band’s hungry fanbase.
Meteora, their official sophomore album, was released in March 2003, in the face of enormous expectations. The album’s success produced many contemporary rock singles, including “Numb,” “Somewhere I Belong,” and “Breaking the Habit,” all of which concurrently charted on the Hot 100, enhancing the band’s crossover appeal. Linkin Park toured extensively in promotion of the album, including appearances on the second annual Projekt Revolution Tour (the band’s own traveling festival, which debuted in 2002) and extra dates with Metallica and Limp Bizkit. After releasing Live in Texas to showcase the band’s power as a touring act, the members worked on different personal projects before embarking on a second remix effort.
Collision Course was released in 2004 and saw the band collaborate with rapper Jay-Z, resulting in a variety of mashups that sampled from both artists’ discographies. Collision Course debuted at number one on the charts, becoming the first EP to do so since Alice in Chains’ Jar of Flies, and Jay-Z deepened his relationship with the group by urging co-founder Mike Shinoda to consider a solo hip-hop project. With Jay-Z as executive producer, he dubbed the project Fort Minor and released The Rising Tied in 2005. In 2006, Linkin Park reformed to begin work on their third studio album, with Shinoda sharing producing duties with Rick Rubin. Minutes to Midnight, a more conventional rock album that completely abandoned their distinctive hip-hop heart, debuted at number one in many countries and spawned the Top Ten song “What I’ve Done” in 2007. Between albums, the band contributed “New Divide,” the theme song for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which became one of their most popular songs.
The band went back into the studio with Rubin in 2010 to record their fourth studio album. A Thousand Suns, a left-field experimental group centered mainly on ambient electronica, veered off-course once again, dividing its followers. Despite this, the songs “The Catalyst” and “Waiting for the End” both charted at number one. The band’s intention to concentrate more on bringing out new songs rather than sustaining an intensive touring schedule was expressed the following year, with Bennington stating that the band’s aim was to release a new album every 18 months. Linkin Park delivered on that promise in 2012 with Living Things, their Rick Rubin-produced fifth album, which included a return to the band’s hybrid sound. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard charts when it was released in June, selling over 223,000 copies in its first week. The songs “Burn It Down,” “Lost in the Echo,” and “Castle of Glass” kept the band in the international singles charts, and it was shortly declared gold.
In the spring of 2013, when Linkin Park started production on their sixth studio album, Bennington revealed that he would be replacing Scott Weiland as the main singer of Stone Temple Pilots; he would not leave Linkin Park, but would be in both bands at the same time. In October of 2013, Bennington reaffirmed his devotion to both bands by releasing his first EP with STP, High Rise, and performing on the remix album Recharged with Linkin Park. The first song from the latter album, “A Light That Never Comes,” was a global club smash, produced in cooperation with DJ Steve Aoki. “Darker Than Blood,” another Aoki collaboration, was included on the DJ’s Neon Future II album and reached the Top 50 on both the Billboard dance and electronic charts.
Linkin Park released their sixth album, The Hunting Party, in June 2014. The album was influenced by the punk, metal, and hardcore they listened to as teenagers, and was produced by the band members themselves. The resultant album was loud, raw, and hard, with guest performances from Tom Morello, Daron Malakian of System of a Down, Page Hamilton of Helmet, and hip-hop icon Rakim. Although it did not reach number one in the United States, it did so in half a dozen other nations and became one of the year’s greatest sales in hard rock circles.
Following the success of The Hunting Party, the band went back to the drawing board to create a follow-up album. When Linkin Park emerged from the studio in 2017, they brought with them a dramatic change in sound that caused controversy. The band’s seventh album, One More Light, opened with the lead track “Heavy,” a duet with vocalist Kiiara and production by pop composers Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. Despite its obvious pop inclination, it earned their sixth number one record and was quickly certified gold. Bennington was discovered dead at his home in Southern California, only two months after the album’s release and one week before the start of a big American tour. He was 41.
Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington, a memorial concert for their late vocalist, was held on October 27, 2017, months after Bennington’s sad death. Members of blink-182, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Yellowcard, Bring Me the Horizon, System of a Down, No Doubt, Orgy, One OK Rock, Bush, and Sum 41, as well as Zedd, Machine Gun Kelly, Alanis Morissette, and Steve Aoki, joined the band at the Hollywood Bowl. One More Light: Live, a compilation of Bennington’s last concerts with the band, brought the period to a conclusion.
Linkin Park went on indefinite pause after Bennington’s death, but they continued to work on archive projects. They will commemorate the 20th anniversary of their debut in late 2020 with a double-disc collection that includes Hybrid Theory as well as a bonus package of live recordings and rarities. The song “She Couldn’t,” which was recorded in 1999 but never published, was included on the album. In January 2021, electronic duo 100 gecs released a remix of the group’s first song “One Step Closer.”
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. The members of the band are Mike Shinoda (vocals and keyboard), Chester Bennington (vocals and guitar), Joe Hahn (turntables), Dave Farrell (bass) and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park has sold over 75 million albums worldwide. The band’s second album, Meteora, brought them mainstream success and critical acclaim in 2000. The linkin park first album is their debut album, Hybrid Theory.
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