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Posted: August 28, 2017

MTV VMAs: Jared Leto gives emotional tribute to Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell

INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27:  Jared Leto speaks onstage during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Jared Leto speaks onstage during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

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By Nicole Moschella, Rare.us

INGLEWOOD, Calif. —

Jared Leto shared some kind words about his late friends, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, two rock musicians who took their own lives within weeks of each other earlier this year.

>> Watch the video here

“MTV asked me to come here to say a few words about Chester and the late, great Chris Cornell — two artists that I had the absolute pleasure of touring with. They were close friends with one another, Chester even singing the cover of ‘Hallelujah’ at Chris’ funeral. Chester said of Chris: ‘Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped into one,'” Leto began.

>> PHOTOS: 2017 MTV VMAs

“Just weeks later, Chester was gone. Chester was my friend, as he was to many. When I think about him, Chester, I see his face, which was always smiling. I think about his heart, which he wore on his sleeve,” Leto said. “I think how kindly he treated me, my brother and my band. I think about his wife and his six incredible children. I think about his family. I think about his band, who were his brothers. And I remember his voice, at once ferocious and delicate. That voice will live forever.”

>> PHOTOS: Stars arrive for the 2017 MTV VMAs

Leto encouraged others in despair to reach out if they felt like giving up.

“The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days," he said.

>> 2017 MTV Video Music Awards: Complete list of winners

Leto asked everyone in the audience and everyone at home to stand up and cheer as Linkin Park was welcomed back on the VMA stage for the first time since Bennington’s death.

>> Read more trending news

Cornell died in May, taking his own life in a hotel room following a Detroit concert. Bennington died in July on what would have been Cornell’s 56th birthday.


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