Linkin Park had broken through in 2000 with their massively successful debut album, Hybrid Theory. Their introspective lyrics were a departure from many other rap metal acts of their era. This earned them many fans, who felt the loss when news got out about Bennington's passing.
A few days later, Linkin Park issued a statement commenting on Bennington's passing. "While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you," they said. "Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much."
Another fan of Chester Bennington is this man, Jonas Never. He's a mural artist whose work can be seen all over Los Angeles. And he wanted to do something to pay tribute to the late Linkin Park frontman.
The Dave Grohl mural is outside an L.A. establishment called Rock 'n Pies. Never had already painted murals of Grohl and other rock stars at the restaurant, including Kurt Cobain and Guns 'N Roses. So he figured he could add one more.
So, on the back of the Rock 'n Pies building, Never went to work. "I’d been seeing that big blank wall from the 101 (freeway) and thought it would be good for something," he said. "When I heard Chester died, I immediately thought of that wall."
Never said he wanted to base his image on an upbeat photo of Bennington. "I stumbled across this publicity still of him, smiling, very recognizable, with all his tattoos visible,” he said. “I thought it would be better than having him up there screaming."
Jonas Never is now 35, but said he grew up listening to Linkin Park's music. His love of the band goes back to when he played sports. "I used to take the pitching mound to the sound of ‘One Step Closer,’" he said.
Rock 'n Pies owner Jim Conners was amazed by the response people had to the mural. "When Jonas was working on it, everyone in their cars on the 101 were beeping their horns and cheering him on," he said. "It was pretty cool. Now there’s something to look at while you’re stuck in traffic."
Never's mural work isn't relegated to just Rock 'n Pizza. He has murals all over the inside and outside of many L.A. buildings. A large portion of these are tribute to late celebrities, such as James Dean.
"I was inspired by old skateboard images, Rancid album covers and all the graffiti I saw in Venice and on the freeways in Los Angeles when I was a kid," Never said. "My parents were also into art, and I remember going to museums with them."
Never said it was about eight years ago when he realized he could make his living with murals. "Sometime in 2009 I realized that I was actually getting paid to paint year-round, and I was like, 'Holy hell! I guess I'm actually an artist now'...It still doesn't seem real."
Want to see more of Jonas Never's work, including this tribute to Harold Ramis? Then you can click here for more of Never's murals. Or you can walk around Los Angeles, and you'll spot some of his work sooner or later.