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Jared Leto pays tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell at the VMAs

Watch the singer's heartbreaking speech about the late Linkin Park frontman

By Andrea Tim | Published: 28 Aug 2017

Video: MTV

Jared Leto, the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars, went onstage at the 2017 Video Music Awards to pay homage to late rockstars Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell.

"He was precocious, full of life and determined," Jared said. "And he grew up to become the singer of one of the biggest rock bands in the history of music. His name was Chester Bennington and the band is Linkin Park."

He also spoke about Chester and Chris's friendship: "Chester said of Chris, your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one."

"Chester was my friend, as he was to so many," Jared added. "And witnessing his life taught me important things. Especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams and being kind and caring while doing it. 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. I think about how kindly he treated me, my brother [Shannon Leto], Tomo [Miličević] – our band. I think about his wife and his six incredible children. I think about his family, I think about his band, who were really his brothers. And I remember his voice. At once ferocious and delicate, that voice will live forever."

Jared also addressed anyone out there who was watching, who might be having a bad time.

"If there's anyone out there who is watching this tonight, who feels like there is no hope, hear me now. You are not alone. There is always a way forward. Reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up. And I promise you this: the absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days."

Later, Thirty Seconds to Mars performed their new single, Walk On Water, from their upcoming fifth album. The performance, which you can watch below, was given an infrared-like effect seen only by home viewers.

Related: Taylor Swift mocks her old self in new music video
Related: MTV VMAs 2017: red carpet
Related: Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, dead at 41


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