Jared Leto shared some kind words about his late friends, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, two rock musicians that took their own lives within weeks of each other earlier this year.
“MTV asked me to come here to say a few words about Chester and the late, great Chris Cornell — two artists that I had the absolute pleasure of touring with. They close friends with one another, Chester even singing the cover of ‘Hallelujah’ at Chris’ funeral. Chester said of Chris: ‘Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped into one,'” he began.
“Just weeks later, Chester was gone. Chester was my friend as he was to many. When I think about him, Chester, I see his face, which was always smiling. I think about his heart, which he wore on his sleeve,” Leto said. “I think how kindly he treated me, my brother and my band. I think about his wife and his six incredible children. I think about his family. I think about his band, who were his brothers. And I remember his voice, at once ferocious and delicate. That voice will live forever.”
Leto encouraged others in despair to reach out if they felt like giving.
“The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days.” Leto asked everyone in the audience and everyone at home to stand up and cheer as Linkin Park was welcomed back on the VMA stage for the first time since Bennington’s death.
Cornell died in May, taking his own life in a hotel room following a Detroit concert. Bennington died in July on what would have been Cornell’s 56th birthday.