Ann Wilson Shares His Last Conversation With Chester Bennington
via Cal Vid / Youtube
In the world of music, where emotions turn into songs, there exists an occasional ominous presence. It’s the painful struggle with mental health. Everyone felt sad when Chris Cornell tragically died. His best friend Chester Bennington was hit really hard by his death, to the point that even with Ann Wilson’s help, he couldn’t overcome the pain.
The lead singer of Soundgarden was consistently open about his struggles with depression and feeling alone. Bennington, who also openly shared his own challenges with anxiety and depression, found a connection with Cornell in their shared daily encounters with their internal struggles. Therefore, when Cornell sadly ended his own life in 2017, it affected Bennington more deeply than many people were aware of.
The connection between Cornell and the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, was strong. In the 1990s, the singer frequently played music together with the Heart sisters at their residence in Seattle. Their bond was so close that in 2013, Cornell had the privilege of inducting Heart into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Therefore, after Cornell’s passing, Bennington wanted to speak with Ann. He understood the important role she played in Cornell’s life.
The Final Backstage Moments
Ann Wilson shared details of her final interaction with the deceased artist with Rolling Stone. Despite acknowledging his feelings of anxiety, sadness, and fear regarding the loss of his closest companion, she managed to briefly offer comfort by holding his hand and soothing him just before he had to go onstage.
Wilson shared what she remembered about her talk with Bennington before he passed away, saying:
“Someone came into my dressing room and said, ‘Chester would like to talk to you’ – he was really upset. This was just a couple of weeks before [Chester] decided to take himself. So I went in. He was really a mess. So anxious and sad and had to go onstage in a minute.”
She then added:
“I think that Chris’ [Cornell] departure hit [Chester] hard because he recognized the impulse. He had been hit by this news. There was a lot of fear there. I said to him, let’s breathe here and look in each other’s eyes and go, ‘We’re still here right now, let’s just do this.’ A couple of weeks later, he was gone.”
Despite the fact that Wilson was able to momentarily engage Bennington in the present moment during their brief conversation, it did not provide sufficient relief for the singer to endure the lingering pain for an extended period.
Approximately two months after Cornell’s passing and only weeks after his conversation with Wilson, Bennington tragically ended his own life. The deaths of these two musicians in such a short timeframe brought the topic of mental health to the forefront.