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Chester Bennington Bandmate Joe Hahn Arrives ... Fans Leave Flowers at Home

7/20/2017 5:46 PM PDT

Joe Hahn -- the DJ for Linkin Park -- just showed up at Chester Bennington's home, and fans are beginning to flock there too.

Several friends and family member were arriving at the house Thursday afternoon in Palos Verdes Estates, CA. Some fans have left flowers at the end of the driveway.

As we reported ... Bennington's suicide was a shock to his bandmates, because the group had a photo shoot planned just hours after he was found dead in his home from hanging himself.

Linkin Park coincidentally released a music video the morning of Chester's suicide.

Chester Bennington Had Plans Hours After Suicide

7/20/2017 1:45 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chester Bennington's suicide was a shock to bandmates, because the group had plans for a photo shoot in Hollywood just hours after the Linkin Park singer was found hanging at his home.

Multiple sources tell us ... Chester hanged himself in his bedroom. His body was discovered shortly before 9 AM PT Thursday by a housekeeper.

We're told Chester arrived back in L.A. Wednesday from Arizona, where he and his wife were spending time. She stayed in AZ, but his return suggests the singer took his life Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Our sources say one of his bandmates showed up at Chester's Palos Verdes Estates home shortly after police arrived. He said he was driving Chester to the photo shoot and was "absolutely shocked."

The band also has plans to tour in 1 week, which made the suicide all the more shocking.

TMZ broke the story of Chester's suicide, and that he was profoundly affected by the suicide by hanging of his close friend, Chris Cornell. By the way, today would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.

Linkin Park Singer Commits Suicide By Hanging

7/20/2017 11:01 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

12:32 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Bennington was home alone at the time of the suicide. We're told his family was out of town and he was found upstairs by an employee.

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington has committed suicide ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us the singer hanged himself at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in L.A. County. His body was discovered Thursday just before 9 AM.

Chester was married with 6 children from 2 wives.

The singer struggled with drugs and alcohol for years. He had said in the past he had considered committing suicide because he had been abused as a child by an older male.

Chester was very close with Chris Cornell, who himself committed suicide by hanging in May. Today would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday. Chester wrote an open letter to Chris on the day of Chris' suicide.

Cornell's wife, Vicky, tweeted out a message following the news of Chester's death, saying, "Just when I thought my heart couldn't break any more ... I love you T."

The band has had a string of hits over the years, including "Faint," "In the End" and "Crawling." Linkin Park crossed music genres, collaborating with Jay-Z.

The band's album, "Meteora," was one of the biggest alternative albums in music history.

Bennington was 41.

RIP

Chester Bennington Remembered By Bandmates & Celebs

7/20/2017 12:29 PM PDT

Musicians from all genres and several other celebs were stunned by the sudden, devastating news that Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington had committed suicide, and his own bandmates also tweeted their shock.

TMZ broke the story ... Chester hanged himself Thursday morning at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates. The news of Chester's death comes on what would've been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday. Cornell and Bennington were close friends, with Bennington even performing at Cornell's funeral in May.

Bandmate Mike Shinoda tweeted an official statement would be coming from Linkin Park soon. 

Bennington is survived by 6 kids. He was 41.

Linkin Park Releases New Music Video Morning of Chester's Suicide

7/20/2017 11:35 AM PDT

Linkin Park released a new music video on the same day frontman Chester Bennington committed suicide.

The American rock band released its "Talking To Myself" video at 9:01 AM ... minutes after Chester's body was discovered Thursday at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates.

The single off the band's "One More Light" album was released a while back but the video just hit the band's Twitter page and YouTube channel.

TMZ broke the story ... Chester hanged himself on the day his good friend, Chris Cornell, would have turned 53. Chester was 41.


Cecil the Lion's Son Xanda Killed by Trophy Hunters

7/20/2017 7:24 AM PDT
Breaking News

Another one of Cecil the Lion's sons has died the same way his father did -- shot and killed by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe.

Xanda -- a 6-year-old in his prime and himself the father of several young cubs -- was reportedly killed by professional hunter Richard Cooke ... the same guy who killed Xanda's brother.

Cecil was killed 2 years ago and his death -- at the hands of American dentist Walter Palmer -- sparked international outrage. Xanda was found dead still wearing an electronic collar just outside the Hwange National Park.

The park released a statement saying, "We can't believe that now, 2 years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub #Xanda has met the same fate. When will the Lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should?"

Jada Pinkett Smith I Was a Drug Dealer Back in My Tupac Days

7/19/2017 1:30 PM PDT

Jada Pinkett Smith was all about the thug life when she first met Tupac Shakur -- maybe more than he was -- because she was the one slinging drugs.

She made the confession Wednesday on "Sway in the Morning" after Sway asked her to clear up the real nature of her relationship with the legendary rapper. He's said they hooked up, but she's always said they were just best friends.

Jada first admitted she "hasn't told the whole story" ... and then dropped the bombshell about her first career.

Ex-NFL Player James Hardy Death Ruled Suicide

7/19/2017 11:06 AM PDT
Breaking News

Ex-NFL player James Hardy III's death has been ruled a suicide by officials in Indiana ... TMZ Sports has learned.

As we previously reported, Hardy -- who spent 4 years in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens -- was found dead in a Fort Wayne river on June 7.

Officials said his family had reported him missing a week earlier and that it appeared his body had been in the water for several days.

The Allen County Coroner said the cause of death is "Asphyxia due to drowning."

Hardy was a 2nd round pick to the Bills in 2008 after a successful career at Indiana.

'The Walking Dead' Stuntman John Bernecker Missed Safety Cushion by Inches

7/14/2017 9:14 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

John Bernecker died when a planned fall on the set of "The Walking Dead" went horribly wrong, but there are conflicting accounts as to who, if anyone, is to blame ... TMZ has learned.

Here's what we know ... John and another actor, Austin Amelio, were shooting a scene on a balcony, and the script called for John to plummet 22 feet to the ground. According to police, there was a safety cushion in place below the balcony. Assistant director Matthew Goodwin told cops he missed the cushion "just by inches."

According to Goodwin ... John didn't appear to get good separation from the balcony when he started falling, and even "attempted to abort the fall by grabbing onto the railing with both hands." He told cops John's momentum slammed him into the bottom of the balcony and then he released his hands and fell ... landing on his head and neck ... right next to the cushion.

Production staff placed cardboard next to the safety cushion to cover the blood left after John's fall.

John's girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker -- who is a stuntwoman herself, but was not on set -- tells TMZ she's extremely upset with the production, saying, "Sets need to be safer. There has to be a prerequisite not to put a super professional stuntman with an inexperienced actor who doesn't know what he's doing."

Other stunt people we spoke to tell us there was a very experienced and respected stunt coordinator for the scene and it was completely safe. According to the cops ... John even gave a thumbs-up to signal he was ready to begin filming. 

Amelio told cops he and Bernecker chatted before the scene and John said he'd never done a stunt fall from that height. He also said John "seemed a little nervous."

We've reached out to AMC, but no word back yet.

'The Walking Dead' Stuntman Pronounced Dead After Fall on Set

7/14/2017 5:38 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

John Bernecker, a 'Walking Dead' stuntman has died ... TMZ has learned.

As we reported, Bernecker fell off a 25 foot high balcony Wednesday afternoon on the set of the show. He was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center where he was placed on a ventilator.

The Medical Examiner tells us the 33-year-old died in the hospital Thursday evening. He was surrounded by friends and family, including his girlfriend who is a stuntwoman on the show when a ventilator was turned off. A source tells us earlier the swelling in his brain seemed to go down at one point on Thursday, but then it swelled back up again.

John had been on the ventilator since Wednesday, and the ME's Office tells us his date of death is that day ... July 12. The cause of death is accidental blunt force trauma.

The accident occurred at Raleigh Studio in Georgia and AMC shut down production shortly after the fall.

John put in nearly 10 years of stunt work in Hollywood and had most recently worked on huge movies like "Black Panther," "The Fate of the Furious," and "Logan."

St. Maarten Airport Beachgoer Dies from Jet Blast

7/13/2017 7:56 AM PDT
Breaking News

10:00 AM PT -- Sint Maarten police tell us government and airport officials will be meeting to discuss new safety measures. Currently it's not illegal to stand at that fence at the end of the runway, but with this fatality -- the first ever -- we're told officials will consider making changes.A New Zealand tourist in Sint Maarten died during a thrill-seeking escapade as she tried to withstand the blast of a jet engine.

The scene was horrifying ... people in Sint Maarten tell TMZ, the woman was hanging on to a fence at the edge of the runway, while an airliner revved its engines before rolling down the runway for takeoff.

We're told she couldn't hold on to the fence and was catapulted backward into a concrete barrier on the edge of the beach.

People on scene tried in vain to resuscitate her but it appears she died on impact.

A similar incident occurred in 2012 when a woman was blown into the same barrier, but she survived.

There are signs warning people not to stand in the pathway of the jet, but it has become one of the most popular things to do in Sint Maarten.

2 Live Crew Fresh Kid Ice Dead at 53

7/13/2017 6:45 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Fresh Kid Ice -- founding member of 2 Live Crew, and a pioneer for Asian rappers, died in Miami ... TMZ has learned.

Fresh Kid formed the legendary hip-hop crew with DJ Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee in 1984, and hooked up with Luther Campbell later when they signed with his record label. According to the group's manager he died at 7:50 AM Thursday in a Miami hospital ... due to a medical condition.

Fresh Kid's real name was Chris Wong Won ... and he and the group became poster children for First Amendment Rights after their "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" album was the first to be labeled legally obscene by the government.

He and Campbell were arrested in 1990 after a live performance police deemed obscene and lewd.

Fresh Kid served in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years before getting into music. He went on to form his own label ... Chinaman Records.

Uncle Luke tweeted condolences ...

Fresh Kid was 53.

Chris Cornell Suicide Scene Blood Not Evidence of Foul Play

7/12/2017 10:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The smeared blood found on the floor of Chris Cornell's hotel bathroom does not indicate foul play as some have suggested ... TMZ has learned.

After photos of Chris' suicide scene were released Tuesday, people speculated foul play was involved because a significant amount of blood was under the singer's body, where he hanged himself.

We contacted several medical examiners and other professionals who say it's common for hanging victims to bleed from the mouth or nose from a buildup of blood and tension in the head.

Emergency responders found Chris' face "covered in blood spatter" ... this according to the police report. According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's report, there was "pronounced congestion of the head and neck above the ligature furrow mark" ... which means significant swelling under the skin above the neckline created by the noose.

As for why the blood was smeared ... Chris' bodyguard and paramedics moved the body during a failed attempt to revive him.

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