Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California, formed in 1996. Since their formation, the band has sold more than 50 million albums and won two Grammy Awards. It achieved mainstream success with its debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005. Its following studio album, Meteora, continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200’s album charts in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth greatest band of the music video era and the third best of the new millennium behind Oasis and Coldplay.
Having adapted the nu metal and rap rock genres to a radio-friendly yet densely-layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band explored other genres in their next studio album, Minutes to Midnight. The album topped the Billboard charts and had the third best debut week of any album that year. They have also collaborated with several other artists, most notably with rapper Jay-Z in their mashup album Collision Course, and many others on Reanimation.
Early Years (1996–1999)
Originally consisting of three high school friends, Linkin Park’s foundation was anchored by Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Rob Bourdon. After graduating from high school, the California natives began to take their musical interests more seriously, recruiting Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and Mark Wakefield to perform in their band, Xero. Though limited in resources, the band began recording and producing songs within Shinoda’s make-shift bedroom studio in 1996. Tensions and frustration within the band grew after they failed to land a record deal. The lack of success and stalemate in progress prompted Wakefield, at that time the band's vocalist, to leave the band in search for other projects. Farrell also left to tour with Tasty Snax and other bands.
After spending a considerable time searching for Wakefield's replacement, Xero recruited Arizona vocalist Chester Bennington. Jeff Blue, the vice president of Zomba Music, had referred him to the band in March 1999. Bennington, formerly of Grey Daze, became a standout among applicants because of his unique singing style. The band changed its name from Xero to Hybrid Theory. The newborn vocal chemistry between Shinoda and Bennington helped revive the band, inciting them to work on new material. The band’s renaissance culminated with a change in name; from Hybrid Theory, the band changed its name to Linkin Park, a play on and homage to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park. However, despite these changes, the band still struggled to sign a record deal. After facing numerous rejections from several major record labels, Linkin Park turned to Jeff Blue for additional help. After failing to catch Warner Bros. Records on three previous reviews, Jeff Blue, now the vice president of Warner Bros. Records, helped the band sign a deal with the company in 1999. The band released its breakthrough album, Hybrid Theory, the following year.
Hybrid Theory (2000–2002)
Linkin Park released Hybrid Theory on October 24, 2000. The album, which represented half a decade’s worth of the band’s work, was edited by music producer Don Gilmore. Hybrid Theory was well received by music fans; the band sold more than 4.8 million records during its debut year, earning it the status of best-selling album of 2001, while singles such as "Crawling" and "One Step Closer" established themselves as staples among alternative rock radio play lists during the year. Additionally, other singles from the album were featured in movies such as Dracula 2000, Little Nicky, and Valentine. Hybrid Theory was also nominated for three Grammy Awards, including best new artist, best rock album, and best hard rock performance (for "Crawling"). MTV awarded the band their Best Rock Video and Best Direction awards for "In the End". Through the winning of the Grammy for best hard rock performance, Hybrid Theory’s overall success had catapulted the band into the mainstream's attention.
During this time, Linkin Park received many invitations to perform on many high-profile tours and concerts including Ozzfest, Family Values Tour and KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. The band also formed its own tour, Projekt Revolution, which featured other notable artists such as, Cypress Hill, Adema, and Snoop Dogg. Within a year’s stretch, Linkin Park had performed at over 320 concerts. The experiences and performances of the precocious band were documented in its first DVD, Frat Party at the Pankake Festival, which debuted in November 2001. Now reunited with former bassist Phoenix, the band began work on a remix album, dubbed Reanimation, which would include works from Hybrid Theory and Hybrid Theory EP. Reanimation debuted on July 30, 2002, featuring the likes of Black Thought, Jonathan Davis, Aaron Lewis, and many others. Reanimation claimed the second spot on the Billboard 200, and sold nearly 270,000 copies during its debut week.
Following the success of Hybrid Theory and Reanimation, Linkin Park spent a significant amount of time touring around the United States. The band members began to work on new material amidst its saturated schedule, spending a sliver of their free time in their tour bus' studio. The band officially announced the production of a new studio album in December 2002, revealing its new work was inspired by the rocky region of Meteora in Greece, where numerous monasteries have been built on top of the rocks. Meteora featured a mixture of the band's previous nu metal and rapcore styles with newer innovative effects, including the induction of a shakuhachi (a Japanese flute made of bamboo) and other instruments. Linkin Park's second album debuted on March 25, 2003 and instantly earned worldwide recognition, going to #1 in the US and UK, and #2 in Australia.
Meteora sold more than 800,000 copies during its first week, and it ranked as the best selling album on the Billboard charts at the time. Music videos for some of the album's singles, including "Somewhere I Belong", "Breaking the Habit", "Faint", and "Numb", received significant radio attention. By October 2003, Meteora sold nearly three million copies. The album's success allowed Linkin Park to form another Projekt Revolution, which featured other bands and artists including, Mudvayne, Blindside, and Xzibit. Additionally, Metallica invited Linkin Park to play at the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003, which included well-known acts such as Limp Bizkit, Mudvayne and Deftones. The band released an album and DVD, entitled Live in Texas, which consisted of audio and video tracks of some of the band's performances in Texas during the tour. In early 2004, Linkin Park started a world tour titled the Meteora World Tour, supporting bands on the tour include Hoobastank, P.O.D. and Story of the Year.
Meteora earned the band multiple awards and honors. The band won MTV's awards for Best Rock Video ("Somewhere I Belong") and the Viewer's Choice Award ("Breaking the Habit"). Linkin Park also received significant recognition during the 2004 Radio Music Awards, winning the Artist of the Year and Song of the Year ("Numb") awards. Although Meteora was not nearly as successful as Hybrid Theory, it was the third best selling album in America during 2003. The band spent the first few months of 2004 touring around the world, first with the third Projekt Revolution tour, and later several European concerts.
Side Projects (2004–2006)
Following Meteora's success, the band postponed working on a new studio album for the next few years. Instead, Linkin Park continued to tour and work on many side projects. Bennington appeared on DJ Lethal’s "State of the Art" and other work with Dead by Sunrise, while Shinoda did work with Depeche Mode. In 2004, the band began to work with Jay-Z to produce another remix album, entitled Collision Course. The album, which featured intermixed lyrics and background tracks from both artists' previous albums, debuted in November 2004. Shinoda also formed a new band, Fort Minor, as a side project. With the aid of Jay-Z, Fort Minor released its debut album, The Rising Tied, to critical acclaim. At the same time, the band's relationship with Warner Bros. Records was deteriorating rapidly on account of several trust and financial issues. After months of feuding, the band finally negotiated a deal in December 2005.
Linkin Park also participated in numerous charitable events. Linkin Park helped raise money to benefit victims of Hurricane Charley in 2004 and later hurricane Katrina in 2005. The band donated $75,000 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation in March 2004. They also helped relief efforts for the 2004 tsunami victims by staging several charity concerts and setting up an additional fund called "Music for Relief". Most notably, however, the band participated at Live 8, a series of charitable benefit concerts set up to raise global awareness. Alongside Jay-Z, the band performed on Live 8's stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a global audience. The band would later be reunited with Jay-Z at the Grammy Award Ceremony 2006, during which they performed "Numb/Encore", en route to winning a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. They would later go on to play at the 2006 Summer Sonic music festival, which was hosted by Metallica, in Japan.
Minutes to Midnight (2006–2008)
Linkin Park returned to the recording studios in 2006 to work on new material. To produce the album, the band chose producer Rick Rubin. Despite initially stating the album would debut sometime in 2006, the album was delayed until 2007. The band had recorded thirty to fifty songs in August 2006, when Shinoda stated the album was halfway completed. Bennington later added that the new album would stray away from its previous nu metal sound. Warner Bros. Records officially announced that the band’s third studio album, entitled Minutes to Midnight, would be released on May 15, 2007 in the United States. After spending fourteen months working on the album, the band members opted to further refine their album by removing five of the original seventeen tracks. The album’s title, a reference to the Doomsday Clock, foreshadowed the band's new lyrical themes. Minutes to Midnight sold over 600,000 copies in its first week, making it one of the most successful debut week albums in recent years. The album also took the top spot on the Billboard Charts.
The album's first single, "What I've Done" was released on April 2, and premiered on MTV and Fuse within the same week. The single was acclaimed by listeners, becoming the top-ranked song on the Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. The song is also used in soundtrack for the 2007 action film, Transformers. Later in the year, the band won the "Favorite Alternative Artist" in the American Music Awards. The band also saw success with singles such as "Bleed It Out", "Shadow of the Day", "Given Up", and "Leave Out All the Rest", which were released throughout 2007 and early 2008. The band also collaborated with Busta Rhymes on his single "We Made It", which was released on April 29.
A Thousand Suns (2008–2010)
In October 2008 Shinoda revealed on his blog that he, Phoenix and Hahn had begun working on two song ideas at Hahn's home, with studio recording to begin in earnest soon. In 2008, Bennington announced that Linkin Park's fourth studio release will be a concept album. In an interview with MTV in November 2008, Bennington stated, "It sounds a little daunting to me, so, I think my confidence level will drop, but when it was presented to us by this friend of ours, we liked the idea. It was an inspiring idea, and it was something we could relate a lot of the things we like to write about to". He also added that the band planned to begin recording in December for a six-week session. The album was expected in mid 2009, but in late March, Mike Shinoda wrote on his blog saying "We're hoping to have Chester's Dead By Sunrise album out this fall, and the new LP album out early next year."
In December 2008, Digidesign gave the band the opportunity to preview the new Pro Tools 8 software. The experiment resulted in an instrumental song called "Lockjaw" performed by Shinoda and Bourdon.
In April 2009, Shinoda revealed on his blog that Linkin Park would be working on the score for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with successful film composer, Hans Zimmer. On May 7, it was further confirmed that the song recorded for the film was titled "New Divide", and was released as a single on May 18. The music video for "New Divide" was released on June 12, 2009 and was directed by Hahn. On June 22, 2009, the band played a short set after the premiere of the movie. The concert took place on the street in Westwood Village.
In May 2009, Linkin Park announced that they were working on their fourth album to be released in 2010, with the aim for it to be "genre-busting." Shinoda also stated recently in an interview with IGN that the new album would have in comparison to Minutes to Midnight a bigger "thread of consistency" and would also be more experimental and "hopefully more cutting-edge". Additionally Bennington confirmed that Rick Rubin would return to produce the new album.
In July 2009, Linkin Park played at the Sonisphere Festival in Europe. They also played at the Epicenter music festival In August 2009.
On January 19, 2010, Linkin Park released a new song entitled "Not Alone" as part of a compilation from Music for Relief in support of the Haiti Earthquake crisis. On February 10, 2010, Linkin Park released the official music video for the song on their homepage.
The band has produced a video game titled 8-Bit Rebellion!, released April 26, 2010, for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. The game includes a new song, "Blackbirds", which is unlocked when the player completes the game. Mike Shinoda has also stated that the game will be regularly updated with new content over time.
On June 6, the band revealed that its new album was nearing completion, and announced the first five dates for their first tour for 2010. The tour began in Los Angeles, California on September 7. Six days later, Shinoda revealed that Linkin Park has almost made its decisions for all of the final qualities for the album, which include the track listing, album title, and cover art.
On July 8, Linkin Park officially announced that their new album, A Thousand Suns, is scheduled to be released on September 14. The album's first single, "The Catalyst," was released on August 2, 2010. A second song, Wretches and Kings, was released on September 2 to people who pre-ordered the album through Linkin Park's official website (which was in keeping with the band's promise that those who pre-ordered the album through the official website would receive music before any other outlet). On September 8, 2010, the band further debuted two more tracks "Waiting For The End" and "Blackout" on their Myspace Page. The band, on their official website declared the "Full Experience Myspace Premiere" of the album on September 10. On August 31, 2010, It was announced that the band would perform the single live for the first at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010. The venue of the debut live performance of the single was Griffith Observatory, an iconic location used in Hollywood Movies. However, the venue was held secret till the performance, but was revealed to be a prominent landmark of Los Angeles. The band is currently supporting the album by their A Thousand Suns Tour which has select dates in various countries.
Living Things and Recharged
In July 2011, Bennington told Rolling Stone that Linkin Park aims to produce a new album every eighteen months, and that he would be shocked if a new album did not come out in 2012. He later revealed in another interview in September 2011 that the band was still in the beginning phases of the next album, saying "We just kind of began. We like to keep the creative juices flowing, so we try to keep that going all the time ... we like the direction that we're going in". Later, on March 28, 2012, Shinoda confirmed that the band is filming a music video for "Burn It Down". Joe Hahn directed the video. Shinoda spoke to Co.Create about the album's art, saying that it will "blow them [the fans] away ... the average person is not going to be able to look at it and go, I understand that that's completely new, like not just the image but the way they made the image is totally new. So there's going to be that".
On April 15, 2012, Shinoda announced that Living Things would be the title of Linkin Park's fifth album. Shinoda stated that they chose the title Living Thingsbecause the album is more about people, personal interactions, and it is far more personal than their previous albums. The band promoted the album on the 2012 edition of the Honda Civic Tour, with co-headliners Incubus. The band performed "Burn It Down" at 2012 Billboard Music Awards. On May 24, the band released the music video for "Burn It Down" and debuted "Lies Greed Misery", another song from Living Things, on BBC Radio 1. "Powerless", the twelfth and closing track of the album, was featured in the closing credits of the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Living Things sold over 223,000 copies during its debut week, ranking No. 1 on the US Albums Charts. Linkin Park's single, "Castle of Glass", was nominated for 'Best Song in a Game' at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards. The band also performed at the award ceremony on December 7, but lost the award to "Cities" by Beck. Linkin Park also played at the Soundwave music festival in Australia, where they shared the stage with Metallica, Paramore, Slayer and Sum 41.
On August 10, 2013, the band collaborated with American musician Steve Aoki to record the song "A Light That Never Comes" for Linkin Park's online puzzle-action game LP Recharge (short for Linkin Park Recharge), which was launched on Facebook and the official LP Recharge website on September 12, 2013. On the day of the game's release, Linkin Park made a post on their Facebook explaining that the song used to promote the game would be included on a new remix album, entitled Recharged, which was released on October 29, 2013 on CD, vinyl, and digital download. Similar to Reanimation, the album features remixes of ten of the songs from Living Things, with contributions from other artists, such as Ryu of Styles of Beyond, Pusha T, Datsik, KillSonik, Bun B, Money Mark, and Rick Rubin. The band also worked on the soundtrack for the film Mall, which was directed by Joe Hahn.
The Hunting Party
In an interview with Fuse, Shinoda confirmed that Linkin Park had begun recording their sixth studio album in
May 2013.The band released the first single from their upcoming album, titled, "Guilty All the Same" on March 6, 2014 through Shazam. The single was later released on the following day by Warner Bros. Records and debut at No. 28 on the US Billboard Rock Airplay charts before peaking at No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock charts in the following weeks. Shortly after the single's release, the band revealed their sixth album would be titled The Hunting Party. The album was produced by Shinoda and Delson, who wanted to explore musical elements from Hybrid Theory and the band's earlier material. Shinoda commented the album is a "90s style of rock record". He elaborated, "It's a rock record. It's loud and it's rock, but not in the sense of what you've heard before, which is more like '90s hardcore-punk-thrash.' The album includes musical contributions from rapper Rakim, Page Hamilton of Helmet, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and Daron Malakian of System of a Down. The Hunting Party was released on June 13, 2014, in most countries, and later released in the United States on June 17.
Linkin Park performed at Download Festival on June 14, 2014, where they played their debut album, Hybrid Theory, in its entirety. Linkin Park headlined Rock am Ring and Rock im Park in 2014, along with Metallica, Kings of Leon, and Iron Maiden. They also headlined with Iron Maiden again at the Greenfield Festival in July. On June 22, Linkin Park made an unscheduled headline appearance at the Vans Warped Tour, where they played with members of Issues, The Devil Wears Prada, A Day To Remember, Yellowcard, Breathe Carolina, Finch, and Machine Gun Kelly. In January 2015, the band embarked on a tour to promote the release of The Hunting Party, consisting of 17 concerts across the United States and Canada. The tour was canceled after only three concerts when Bennington injured his ankle. On May 9, Linkin Park performed at the first edition of Rock in Rio USA, in direct support for Metallica.
On November 9, 2014, MTV Europe named Linkin Park the "Best Rock" act of 2014 at their annual music awards ceremony. The band won the 'Best Rock Band' and 'Best Live Act' titles of 2014 on Loudwire's Music Awards. Revolver ranked The Hunting Party as the fourth best album of 2014. In an interview with AltWire on May 4, Shinoda reflected on The Hunting Party and commented on Linkin Park's future, stating; "I'm really happy with the reaction from The Hunting Party, and I think we're ready to move somewhere new on the next album, which will be coming [in 2016]".
Linkin Park collaborated with Steve Aoki on the song "Darker Than Blood" for Aoki's album Neon Future II, which was released in May 2015. The first preview of the song came during Aoki's performance on February 28, 2015 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois. The song was debuted on Twitch.tv on April 13 and released on April 14.
One More Light and Chester's Death
Linkin Park began working on new material for a seventh studio album in November 2015. Chester
Bennington commented on the album's direction by stating, "We’ve got a lot of great material that I hope challenges our fanbase as well as inspires them as much as it has us." In February 2017, Linkin Park released promotional videos on their social network accounts, which featured Shinoda and Bennington preparing new material for the album. Mike Shinoda stated the band was following a new process when producing the album. Brad Delson elaborated: "We've made so many records and we clearly know how to make a record and we definitely didn't take the easy way out this time."
The first single from the new album was revealed to be titled "Heavy" and features pop singer Kiiara, the first time the band has featured a female vocalist on an original song for a studio album. The lyrics for the song were co-written by Linkin Park with Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. The single was released for download on February 16. As they have done in the past, Linkin Park had cryptic messages online in relation to the new album. The album cover was revealed through digital puzzles across social media; The cover features six kids playing in the ocean. The band's seventh album, One More Light, was released on May 19, 2017 and received negative reviews, at least compared to normal.
Bennington's death on Twitter, writing "Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one". The band had released a music video for their single "Talking to Myself" earlier that day. One day after Bennington's death, the band canceled the North American leg of their One More Light World Tour. On the morning of July 24, Linkin Park released an official statement on their website as a tribute to Bennington. On July 28, Shinoda announced that donations made to the band's Music for Reliefcharity would be redirected to the One More Light Fund, which had been set up in Bennington's memory.
On August 22, Linkin Park announced plans to host a tribute concert in Los Angeles to honor Bennington. The band thanked fans for their support, stating "The five of us are so grateful for all of your support as we heal and build the future of Linkin Park." The band later confirmed the concert would take place on October 27 at the Hollywood Bowl. The event will include Linkin Park's first performance following Bennington's death. Blink-182 and members of System of a Down, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Bring Me the Horizon, Yellowcard and singer Kiiara have all signed on to perform with Linkin Park at their special tribute concert. The title of the concert is Linkin Park and Friends - Celebrate Life In Honor of Chester Bennington.
Linkin Park's use of two separate vocalists has become a large part of their music. Chester Bennington is most known for using screaming vocals common in various forms of metal and hardcore, while also using more melodic singing, and was placed 46th in Hit Paraders list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists".
Both Hybrid Theory and Meteora combined the alternative metal, nu metal, and rap rock sound with influences and elements from hip-hop, alternative rock, and electronica, utilizing programming and synthesizers. William Ruhlmann from Allmusic regarded it as "a Johnny-come-lately to an already overdone musical style," whereas Rolling Stone called "Breaking the Habit" "risky, beautiful art".
In Minutes to Midnight the band experimented with their established sound and drew influences from a wider and more varied range of genres and styles, a process Los Angeles Times compares to a stage in U2's work. In it, only two of the songs feature rapping, and the majority of the album can be considered alternative rock or pop metal rather than nu metal or rap rock. It also is their first studio album to feature guitar solos.
Linkin Park's use of two separate vocalists has become a large part of their music. Chester Bennington was most known for using screaming vocals common in various forms of metal and hardcore, while also using more melodic singing, and was placed 46th in Hit Paraders list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists".
Mike Shinoda is the group's MC and does all of the rapping. Mike has also done all of the backing vocals live, and in their latest album, Minutes to Midnight, he sings lead vocals on "In Between", "Hands Held High", and the B-side "No Roads Left". Shinoda has also been placed in Hit Parader's list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists" at number 72.
- Xero Demo Tape (2006 Re-Rip): (Credit to LPFuse for these files)
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
UK: 5× Platinum
CAN: 5× Platinum
AUS: 5× Platinum
US: Platinum UK: Gold AUS: Gold
||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||2||3||1||3||1||1||1||6||1||1||1||2||US: 6× Multi-Platinum|
UK: 2× Platinum
CAN: 4× Platinum
AUS: 4× Platinum
|2003||Live In Texas
US: Platinum UK: Gold CAN: Platinum
CAN: 2× Platinum AUS: Platinum
|2007||Minutes To Midnight
||1||1||1||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2||1||US: 3× Multi-Platinum|
AUS: 3× Platinum
|2008||Road to Revolution
||41||24||17||58||47||38||28||12||11||17||—||6||54||54||16||54||42||28||15||US: Platinum UK: Silver|
|2010||A Thousand Suns
US: Gold UK: Gold CAN: Platinum AUS: Gold
|2014||The Hunting Party|
|2017||One More Light|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|1999||Hybrid Theory EP
|2000||Frat Party At The Pankake Festival
|2002||Live & Rare
|2008||Live From SoHo EP
|2008||Songs from the Underground
- Points of authority
Minutes To Midnight 
- What I've Done
- Bleed It Out
- Shadow of The Day
- Given Up
A Thousand Suns
- The Catalyst
- Waiting For The End
- Burning In The Skies
- BURN IT DOWN
- LOST IN THE ECHO
- CASTLE OF GLASS
- A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES (Steve Aoki Remix)
The Hunting Party
- Guilty All The Same
- Until It's Gone
- Final Masquerade
One More Light
- Talking To Myself
- One More Light
- A Tribute To Linkin Park
- In The Chamber... The String Quartet Tribute To Linkin Park
- The String Quartet Tribute To Linkin Park: Meteora
- Dub Tribute To Linkin Park
- Gothic Acoustic Tribute To Linkin Park
- Guitar Tribute To Linkin Park
- Bluegrass Tribute To Linkin Park
- The Ultimate Tribute To Linkin Park
- Queen Of The Damned (Original Soundtrack)
- Underworld: Evolution (Original Soundtrack)
- Twilight Sound Track (Shadow Of The Day)(What Ive Done)
(links to websites, label biographies, fansites, books, periodicals or any additional information on the artist)