Four years back, Linkin Park fans could hardly imagine a Linkin Park lineup without Chester Bennington.
Chester and Linkin Park was a single, inseparable entity. But cruel reality has compelled us to accept Linkin Park without Chester.
Although Chester is no longer with us, every Linkin Park fan can still feel his presence when they hear Chester singing in any Linkin Park song.
When one retrospects on the life of Chester, it is expected to shed light on both Chester as a person and Chester as a musician.
On one hand is Chester struggling with severe depression and addiction while on the other hand, Chester is appearing as a funny, happy person - a unique skill of hiding one's emotion that most depressed people acquire, resonating with the lyrics from "Easier to Run With": "Something has been taken from deep inside of me, A secret I have kept away no one can ever see".
Most of the Linkin Park songs and their lyrics seem like a reflection of Chester's own life, if one reads them in between the lines.
Chester was someone who chose drawing, poetry and writing songs to escape from the traumatic experiences of sexual abuse and bullying he endured as a child. Even though he tried to escape, those wounds remained with him till the end.
He wrote in "Crawling": "Crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal". However, Chester never let the struggles he dealt with define his personality.
Chester, as one of the greatest rock vocalists of his time, took rock and metal singing to a new level. Dan Weiss, the co-creator and producer of Game of Thrones, credited Chester for making nu-metal universal.
The presence of both delicacy and softness with aggression and ferociousness made Chester a truly unique vocalist.
Speaking about Chester's voice, actor Jared Leto once said, "It's the angel and the demon, sitting on both shoulders. You could feel the tension between the two when he sang, and I think the reason so many people connected to his music was because of that balance he achieved between the two." He could not have explained it any better.
One of the articles written on Chester in Rolling Stone elucidated his ability to change his vocal according to the change of emotion in the lyric. It read: "Bennington's voice embodied the anguish and wide-ranging emotions of the lyrics, from capturing life's vulnerable moments to the fury and catharsis found in his belted screams, which he would often move between at the turn of a dime."
Chester's works are not limited just to Linkin Park. He released an album named Out of Ashes with the band Dead by Sunrise and an EP titled High Rise with his childhood favourite - the band he once wished to be part of - Stone Temple Pilots.
Moreover, Chester proved himself as a great actor, too.
He appeared in movies "Crank, Crank: High Voltage" and most interestingly in "Saw: The Final Chapter".
The films from the Saw franchise demanded a lot from the actors and actresses. Chester's acting in "Saw: The Final Chapter" was so natural that it was impossible to identify him as a musician and not an actor if one was not aware of the former.
Chester, an advocate of non-violence, did not hide his political views. In 2016, he openly declared Donald Trump as "worse than terrorism" and "a greater threat to US than terrorism."
His death came as an unexpected shock for everyone in the music industry. It was hard to believe that someone who sent loving, positive messages to friends, even a few days before he died, could take his own life.
The physical absence of Chester can never erase what he has done through his music. Chester and his works will forever energize Linkin Park fans who have always been strongly attached to him.
He has left us all of a sudden, resonating with the lyrics from "Runaway": "I wanna run away, never say goodbye".