Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda to play Reading and Leeds

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Linkin Park's Mike ShinodaImage copyright Getty Images

Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda has announced his first UK shows since the death of bandmate Chester Bennington.

The rapper and keyboard player is going to play the Reading and Leeds Festivals this summer.

Chester, Linkin Park’s lead singer, took his own life in July 2017 following a struggle with depression and addiction.

Mike has described the grief he felt following his friend’s death and how it fed into his latest EP, Post Traumatic.

The 41-year-old released Post Traumatic in January and festival organisers say they expect it to feature in his sets, alongside songs written throughout his career.

Linkin Park achieved three UK number one albums and released their most recent album last year.

Mike’s most famous for being the group’s rapper but is also a keyboard player, guitarist and songwriter.

His new EP, which features three songs, has Chester at its heart.

“The past six months have been a rollercoaster,” he said at the time of its release.

“At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience. As such, this is not Linkin Park, nor is it Fort Minor (Mike’s other band) – it’s just me.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mike and Chester achieved their first UK number one album in 2003

Chester previously spoke to Newsbeat about addiction, depression and suicide.

He referred to a friend – musician Chris Cornell – who also took his own life.

“It was really hard and really confusing and really sad,” the 41-year-old said.

“Sometimes it just feels like life is testing you.”

Talinda Bennington, Chester’s widow, set up a mental health initiative called 320 after his death.

It works with more than 500 organisations to highlight signs of depression and “build a resource for friends and family members who are seeking answers to questions about mental health”.

“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” Talinda says.

“For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone.

“I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information – but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult.”

Mike’s first show since Chester’s death will be a free-entry gig at LA’s Identity Festival in May, part of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

If you feel you may be affected by any of the issues in this article, check out BBC Advice.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here.

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