INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Jared Leto speaks onstage during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

MTV VMAs: Jared Leto gives emotional tribute to Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell

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“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 were 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,'” Leto began.

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“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.”

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Leto encouraged others in despair to reach out if they felt like giving up.

“The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days," he said.

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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.

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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.

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