Linkin Park remembers Chester Bennington with Carpool Karaoke filmed before death

by Ethan Sacks / / Source: TODAY

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A previously unseen "Carpool Karaoke" episode featuring Linkin Park — and frontman Chester Bennington days before his death — is now coming to light.

Bennington and his bandmates joined guest host Ken Jeong for a drive around town as they belted out some of their classic songs just six days before his July 20 suicide.

The family of the heavy metal superstar gave their blessing to release the footage onto the band's Facebook page, where it surfaced on Thursday. A somber message appears before the video starts: "With the Blessing of Chester's family and bandmates, we share this episode and dedicate it to the memory of Chester." The post includes an appeal for donations to Music for Relief's One More Light Fund — a disaster relief charity formed by the band in 2004 — in honor of the late singer.

Image: Linkin Park Gets Inducted Into Guitar Center's Historic RockWalk
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 18: Singer Chester Bennington attends Linkin Park's induction into the Rockwalk at Guitar Center on June 18, 2014 in Hollywood, California.WireImage

But once the "Carpool Karaoke" episode starts, it's impossible to feel somber as Jeong leads Bennington and Linkin Park original members Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda through several of the band's biggest hits, including "In the End" and "Numb." There are also some memorable covers, including Outkast's "Hey Ya" and the Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Under the Bridge."

"That kind of memory with cheerful, happy, and passionate side of Chester we all wanted to keep," commented one fan after the video's release.

At one point in the episode, Jeong makes his pitch to join the band and earns his place by mock-feuding with Shinoda. "It feels like a band already. We're already fighting," the "Hangover" star deadpans.

"I'm having so much fun, this is the best!," Bennington says at one point between peels of laughter.

He turns slightly serious when talking about his children, and how important it has been for him to support his daughters' love of music.

It's hard for fans to reconcile that joyful, warm moment with the 41-year-old's tragic hanging in a home outside Los Angeles less than a week later.

"Mixed emotions from me....I'm smiling and tearing up all at the same time," one fan posted on the band's Facebook page. "Still breaks my heart that he's gone and confusing to see how happy he seemed. Such talent that will be missed by his band mates and the world."
Linkin Park and Ken Jeong Carpool Karaoke.
Linkin Park and Ken Jeong Carpool Karaoke.Apple Music
"This video represents Chester at all, and watching him laughing, joking, dancing, screaming and singing was so beautiful.. and the part in which he talks about his sons and daughters shows how deeply he loved them," replied another in the video comments. "I'm so proud of the person he was, and his voice will live forever."
The surviving members of Linkin Park will perform a tribute concert, joined by a lineup that includes Korn and Blink-182, at the Hollywood Bowl later this month.
Editor's Note: This post initially stated that Chester Bennington died on June 20, 2017. In fact, he died on July 20, 2017. The post also initially reflected Mike Shinoda's name as Mike Shinoba. This post has been updated to reflect those corrections. TODAY.com regrets the errors.

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