Midway through the VMAs tonight, just before his band Thirty Seconds To Mars were schedule to perform, Jared Leto made a surprising solo appearance to pay tribute to two of the most iconic frontmen and singers in the entire history of alternative rock, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, both of whom took their own lives earlier this year.
Leto shared that he had had the benefit and pleasure of touring with both men and spoke from the heart about their incredible contributions to the world of music, the immense amount of respect and love that they had for one another, and their character as human beings. If you’ll remember, Bennington served as the Godfather to Cornell’s children, sang the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah” at his funeral, and ultimately killed himself in the same exact manner as Cornell on the singer’s birthday just a few weeks back.
Before he was finished, Leto demanded that everyone in the LA Forum stand on their feet — “I’ve got all day” — then introduced a vibrant, heart-wrenching clip of Linkin Park performing at the VMAs back in 2010, before a black and white image of Bennington flashed across the screen.
You can watch the poignant and powerful tribute above.