Jared Leto Honors Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington at VMAs 2017

Jared Leto
took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 27, to honor his friends, late legendary artists Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell.

“MTV asked me to come here to say a few words about Chester and the late, great, Chris Cornell, two artists I had the absolute pleasure of touring with,” Leto began before referencing one of Bennington’s final performances. “They were close friends with one another. Chester even singing the cover of the classic ‘Hallelujah’ at Chris’ funeral.”

Chester Bennington Jared Leto
Chester Bennington and Jared Leto attend the iHeartRadio Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 1, 2014. Larry Busacca/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Leto added: “Chester said of Chris, ‘Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache, all wrapped up into one.’ Just weeks later, Chester himself was gone.”

As previously reported, both the Soundgarden and Linkin Park singers died from suicide. Cornell passed away at age 52 following a sold out concert on May 17. Bennington died on July 20 at the age of 41.

Leto continued with the touching speech by speaking more in depth about Bennington. “When I think about him, Chester, I see his face, which was always smiling,” Leto said. “I think about his heart, which he wore on his sleeve.”

“I think about his family, I think about his band, who were really his brothers,” the Oscar winner continued. “I think about his voice: at one ferocious and delicate. That voice will live forever.”

Leto ended the heartfelt moment by putting out a plea to the viewers at home. “Reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up, and, I promise you this: the absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days.”

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