Jared Leto and the VMAs Honor Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell


Show Focuses On Suicide Prevention

By Staff Writer

Original Source: soberinfo.com

Jared Leto’s eyes are disconcerting. It’s the first thing most people notice about him. The second thing is also disconcerting: Jared Leto has never been afraid to speak uncomfortable truths. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Jared Leto was remarkably candid about his experience with drug use: “My experience with drugs? I did them, lots of them. A lot of them were really fun, [but]past some point, there’s a decision: Is this going to be my life? I made a choice to pursue other dreams…Some drugs are incredible, but the risk versus reward is out of line.”

That sort of honesty is rare; it takes a person remarkably comfortable with the truth to admit that his experiences with drugs were mostly positive, and immediately pivot to an explanation of why he stopped. It’s that openness that made Jared Leto the perfect star to discuss two of the music world’s most recent high-profile suicide victims: Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell.

Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden and Audioslave fame, battled depression and substance abuse for his entire career. However, in 2002, he entered treatment, and had reportedly been sober for many years prior to his suicide earlier this year.

Like Cornell, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park had battled his addictions for years, openly discussing his alcoholism and substance abuse issues in many interviews. And, like Cornell, Bennington’s 2017 suicide also rocked the music world; his death was doubly shocking because mere months earlier, Bennington delivered a moving performance of “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral.

Leto, who knew both men, delivered a moving tribute at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards; he called Cornell a voice with “joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache, all wrapped up into one.” Of Bennington, Leto said “I remember his voice. At once ferocious and delicate, that voice will live forever.”

He closed the moment by reassuring those watching that “anyone out there who is watching this tonight, who feels like there is no hope, hear me now. You are not alone.” That message would be reiterated in the evening’s most powerful performance, as hip-hop artist Logic performed 1-800-273-8255. The hit song takes its title from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. During the performance, the stage was flooded with suicide survivors, leading to a powerful moment that left both participants and audience members openly weeping.

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