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Linkin Park's 'One More Light' Hits Rock Radio Charts After Chester Bennington's Death

Chester Bennington, Linkin Park
Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performs at the O2 Arena in London on Nov. 11 2010.

The song, the penultimate track on the band’s 2017 album of the same name, spends its second week on the Rock Airplay chart following frontman Chester Bennington’s July 20 suicide.

Weeks after Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington’s July 20 suicide, one of the artist’s final recordings is rising up the Billboard rock radio charts.

“One More Light,” the title track from Linkin Park’s latest album, spends its second week on the Rock Airplay chart, moving 50-49 on the chart dated Aug. 19. It earned a 9 percent bump in audience impressions to 1.2 million earned in the week ending Aug. 6, with plays at 15 rock stations, according to Nielsen Music.

The track is also bubbling under the threshold of the Alternative Songs airplay chart with a 55 percent gain in spins in the latest tracking week.

The success of the ballad, which Linkin Park performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in May to honor the recently deceased Chris Cornell (a friend of Bennington's), comes as the band’s label Warner Bros. confirms the song is not currently being actively promoted to radio. Another single, “Talking to Myself,” had already been serviced to radio just prior to Bennington’s death, with the official music video coming out hours before the news hit.

So, why is “Light” taking off? Phil Kukawinski, program director at WFUZ Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, Pa., which played the song 40 times in the latest tracking week (the most of any Nielsen Music-monitored alternative station), tells Billboard that he had planned on adding “Talking to Myself” to his rotation but had an “internal discussion” about which one to add after Bennington’s death.

“’One More Light’ is, in my opinion, the most emotional and powerful song on the album,” Kukawinski says. “It seemed like the right decision to make to coincide with the grief that everyone has been facing.

“Taking away the PD hat and looking at things from a fan perspective -- they've always been my favorite band of all time -- I wanted something stronger and more meaningful that I felt would really resonate from a listener's standpoint.”

Other alternative stations playing the song include KXRK Salt Lake City (26 spins), WKQZ Chicago (21) and KUCD Honolulu (20). Meanwhile, other formats have spun the ballad, including stations in the Mainstream Top 40, Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Rock formats.

Should “Light” make the Alternative Songs chart, it would become the act’s 29th charting title, following Light lead single “Heavy” (feat. Kiiara), which peaked at No. 22 earlier this year.

Bennington was laid to rest in Palos Verdes, Calif., on July 29. The band has since canceled a scheduled tour that would have kicked off July 27 in Boston. In the first full tracking week following Bennington’s death (charts dated Aug. 12), the band charted a record 23 songs on the Hot Rock Songs chart at the same time.

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