Justin Hawkins Addresses His ‘Odd’ Encounter With Chester Bennington


The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins responded to his fans’ questions that they shared on his YouTube channel’s comment sections. Hawkins opened up about one of his photos with the late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington by reflecting on his ideas about that.

The Kerrang! Awards is an annual music awards show, which music magazine Kerrang! founded in 1994, and fan votes have determined the nominees and winners since then. Every year, the best and most popular bands receive their awards with their singles, albums, and other projects on a special night to celebrate their success. The ceremony drew significant attention from the musicians and fans, who generally watch it on TV.

In 2003, The Darkness won two awards for Best Live Act and Best Album thanks to their debut studio record ‘Permission to Land,’ Metallica was awarded Hall of Fame, and Linkin Park’s Best International Act was another memorable moment from the ceremony. Following their awards, as the winners, Bennington, Hawkins, and James Hetfield posed together for the magazine’s cover, in which Bennington’s distance was impossible to see.

One of Hawkins’ followers wanted to know the details about that famous photo by asking whether the Linkin Park singer didn’t want to join them for the photoshoot or not. Hawkins stated that he couldn’t remember Bennington’s reluctance, and honestly, he wouldn’t care about that. According to Hawkins, if he didn’t want to, it would be a mistake to be part of it. The musician’s sure it’s not photoshop because he knows he stood beside Hetfield.

Here’s what Hawkins said:

“UnwittingSweater says ‘Question; Linkin Park and The Darkness both won a Kerrang! in the same year. There was a rumor Chester would not pose in the photo with you for the cover. He’s right at the edge of the photo. Any truth in that?’ Let me look at this photo. I wouldn’t know whether Chester was reluctant to pose in the photo with me. I wouldn’t have cared either. We won two awards that year. It was the Best Live Act; I don’t even remember the other. Those are the ones that were stolen from us by an ex-tour manager of ours.

It looks like Chester is in that picture. Sometimes they do like an ensemble photograph where everybody is photographed in pairs or small groups, even individually. In some instances, they use photoshop to create an ensemble photo, but it looks to me like he’s leaning in and in there. I remember standing next to James Hetfield because that’s not something you ever forget. He’s holding a Kerrang! award. You can see Chester behind this, so I imagine he was in the photo. If he didn’t want to be in it, he’d made a mistake and lent in a schoolboy error.”

You can check out the video below.