'That Voice Will Live Forever': Jared Leto Honors Chester Bennington with Emotional VMAs Tribute
“Chester was my friend as he was to so many and witnessing his life taught me important things – especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams and being kind and caring while doing it,” said Leto.
He continued, “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. I think how kindly he treated me, my brother, our band.”
“I think about his wife and his six, six incredible children. I think about his family, I think about his band who were really his brothers and I remember his voice – at once ferocious and delicate,” he said. “That voice will live forever.”
Bennington died of suicide by hanging in July, authorities confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.
Addressing viewers struggling with their mental health, Leto pleaded, “If there is anyone else out there who is watching this tonight who feels like there is not hope, hear me now: you are not alone.”
“The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days,” Leto said, before introducing a video of Linkin Park performing at the annual ceremony in 2010.
After news of Bennington’s death initially broke, Leto shared a similar message to the singer, noting, “It was clear to me that he was deeply grateful for both the people that surrounded him and the life that he had.
RELATED VIDEO: Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Honored With Huge Mural In L.A.
“A tragic loss of an absolute legend. We will miss you,” he said.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).