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Linkin Park is one of the hottest bands in the music industry today. The band, which hails from Southern California, consists of Chester Bennington (vocals), Mike Shinoda (vocals/MC/sampling + beats), Joe Hahn (Turntables, samples), Brad Delson (guitar), Rob Bourdon (drums), and Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell (bass guitar). Ever since the release of their critically acclaimed first album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, Linkin Park have experienced a rapid ascent into the upper echelons of elite crowd-pleasing bands. They latest album, Meteora, was recently released in 2003.
The band saw its beginnings in mc/vocalist Mike Shinoda's small bedroom studio, where he and high school friend, Brad Delson recorded the band's first material in 1996. They also recruited fellow high schoolers, Rob Bourdon. Shinoda then hooked up with DJ Joseph Hahn while studying illustration at Art Center College in Pasadena. Meanwhile while attending UCLA, Delson shared an apartment with bassist Phoenix, who left the band after college and returned a year later. At this point, the group was called themselves “Xero” and recorded several demo tracks which never drew the attention from music executives.
The group decided to hire a vocalist by putting out an advertisement in the local paper – this is how Chester Bennington joined the band. The group renamed themselves to “Hybrid Theory” with the addition of Bennington, but had trademark issues with another local band called “Hybrid”. Forced to change band names, the group decided on “Lincoln Park”, inspired by the park Bennington had to drive past to get to band practice. However the domain, "lincolnpark.com", cost more than the band could afford, so they changed the spelling to Linkin Park.
The band’s music can be loosely classified as Nu Metal, a subgenre of heavy metal music, typically characterized by the combination of aggressive, hip hop influenced, angst-ridden vocals, samples, rap-style beats and drum set patterns, and/or DJ techniques. The band, however, do not pigeonhole themselves in any type of musical category, which is a big reason for their worldwide appeal. They can seamlessly go from synthesizer-heavy soft ballads, to groovy hip-hop beats, to heavy-pounding guitar-driven rock.
The first album, Hybrid Theory, was extremely successful and catapulted the band into the spotlight of popular music mainstream, fresh on the heals of other nu-metal bands, Korn, Deftones, and Limp Bizkit. The album went on to reach multi-platinum status, selling over 14-million copies to date, and was the top selling album in the United States and New Zealand in 2001. The album featured the hit singles One Step Closer, Crawling, Papercut, In The End, and Points of Authority.
In 2002, the band released its second album, Reamimation, which was remix of the Hybrid Theory album. This album also achieved platinum status, with over a million copies sold in the United States. In 2003, the band released its much-anticipated second studio album, Meteora. When the album was released, it debuted at Number 1 in the United States and United Kingdom charts. Meteora is currently enjoying similar success that Hybrid Theory had, reaching multi-platinum status with over 6 million copies sold worldwide to date. Meteora contained hit singles in Somewhere I Belong, Faint, Numb, From The Inside, and Breaking The Habit. Always with a focus on innovation, the band collaborated with hip-hop artist, Jay-Z, in releasing a forth album, Collision Course that featuring rap-style remixes ("mash-ups") of songs from Meteora and Hybrid Theory using lyrics from Jay-Z's repertoire.
Another aspect of the band that has contributed to their current immense popularity is their dynamic, explosive, and inspiring live shows. Like any good band, their live performances usually sound better than any of their recordings, since they don’t capture the energy emitted from their concerts. They live performance prowess have assisted in developing a dedicated fan base. Linkin Park has participated in wildly popular summer concert festivals – OzzFest, Summer Sanitarium Tour, and Projekt Revolution. Right now, the band is working on their new album, after completing a massively successful worldwide Meteora tour.
With the occurrence of the devastating tsunami that affected South Asia and Africa, which has killed hundreds of thousands people and displaced millions more, the world remains gripped by this continuing tragedy. Despite the tragedy, the world has been fast in mobilizing aid and assistance to the afflicted regions. Linkin Park is doing their part in helping by setting up a charity fund for the countries affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.
The band have set up an organisation called Music for Relief with an initial $100,000 donation. The band hopes that fans can donate money when attending their concerts. All money raised by Music for Relief will go to the American Red Cross.
Linkin Park Awards
- Song of the Year - Rock Radio for Numb (Radio Music Awards 2004)
- Artist of the Year - Rock Radio (Radio Music Awards 2004)
- Viewer's Choice Award for Breaking The Habit (MTV Video Music Awards 2004)
- Best Rock Video for Somewhere I Belong (MTV Video Music Awards 2003)
- Favorite Artist - Alternative Music (American Music Awards 2003)
- Best Group - Hard Rock (MTV Europe Music Awards 2002)
- Best Foreign Rock Group (Swedish Hit Music Awards 2002)
- Best Rock Video for In the End (MTV Video Music Awards 2002)
- Best International Nu-Metal/Alternative Artist (ECHO awards 2002)
- Best Foreigner Artist of The Year (Finland's Emma Awards 2001)
- Best International Newcomer (Kerrang Awards 2001)