Linkin Park (formed 1996)
Linkin Park is an American nu-metal band that has won two Grammy awards and sold over fifty million albums worldwide.
Linkin Park: The Formation
Linkin Park was originally formed by Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon, who all knew each other from high school in California. After graduation, Joe Hahn, Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell and Mark Wakefield joined the band. At the time, the band was known as Xero.
Xero recorded their demos in Shinoda's bedroom but failure to secure a record deal caused tensions in the band. Mark Wakefield (the vocalist at the time) and Dave Farrell both left the band.
Chester Bennington was drafted in as Wakefield's replacement. He was formerly the singer for Grey Daze and his distinctive vocal style stood out. The band changed their name to Hybrid Theory for a short time but the addition of Bennington to the band brought a new chemistry and they changed names again to Linkin Park: a homage to Lincoln Park, in Santa Monica.
Although a record deal remained elusive for some time, they eventually signed to Warner Bros. in 1999.
Linkin Park: Commercial Breakthrough
The band's debut album, Hybrid Theory was released in 2000 and was representative of the last five years of the band's work. The album sold over 4.8 million copies in its first year and was the highest-selling album of 2001.
Hybrid Theory was also nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Rock Album and Best Hard Rock Performance (for 'Crawling'). They won the latter category.
Around this time, Linkin Park performed at a number of high profile events, such as 'Ozzfest, the Family Values tour and their own 'Projekt Revolution', which featured such luminaries as Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg.
Dave Farrell re-joined the band and they began working on a follow-up album. Reanimation was a remix album that featured tracks from Hybrid Theory and featured Black Thought and Aaron Lewis, among others. The album went to number two in the Billboard 200.
Linkin Park began to write new material whilst completing their extensive promotional tour schedule. They spent some of their free time recording in the studio they had in their tour bus. The resulting album, Meteora was released in 2003 and went to number one in the US album charts. More than 800,000 copies were sold in its first week.
The band undertook another Projekt Revolution, this time with Mudvayne, Blindside and Xzibit. The band was invited by Metallica to play on the Summer Sanitarium Tour, along with Limp Bizkit and the Deftones.
A DVD entitled Live In Texas showcased some of their live performances from the tour.
Following Meteora's commercial success, the band took a brief hiatus. Shinoda worked with Depeche Mode and formed Fort Minor as a side project. Bennington also worked with DJ Lethal and Dead By Sunrise.
Another remix album surfaced, this time produced by Jay-Z and was entitled Collision Course.
Producer Rick Rubin was chosen to work on their next studio album; the release of which was delayed until 2007. Minutes to Midnight was 14 months in the making and sold over 600,000 copies in its first week on sale. It also went to number one on the Billboard 200 album charts.
The band headlined the Download festival in England as well as undertaking their fourth Projekt Revolution tour and embarking on a UK arena tour that culminated in two nights at the O2 Arena in London.