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Linkin Park realizes "a lot of fans weren't expecting" a single like "Heavy"

ABC/Randy HolmesWhile Linkin Park's known as a rock band, they've had a few pop hits, including "In the End," "Numb" and "What I've Done."  But their latest hit, "Heavy," is their most pop single yet, and their first to feature a female singer: Kiiara.  While the band realizes that some fans aren't pleased by this, it's not the first time they've heard that complaint.

"We felt like ['Heavy'] it really represents the rest of the album in terms of the meaning of the song and the sound of the song," Linkin Park vocalist/producer Mike Shinoda tells ABC Radio. "And I know a lot of fans weren't expecting a first single to sound that way from us."

But, Shinoda adds, "That's been par for the course for us for many many years. Every album we've put out after the first one has gotten that reaction to some degree."

The song was co-written by three members of Linkin Park, and Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, the duo behind hits like Justin Bieber's "Sorry" and Selena Gomez's "Hands to Myself."  If that seems an unlikely pairing, Shinoda says that's the point.

"That's kind of the mark of an artist: stretching yourselves, pushing boundaries, doing things that are different," Shinoda tells ABC Radio. "Trying to find things that you can do that are exciting and push buttons and stretch yourself and learn too."

This approach seems to be working for Linkin Park. Their new album, One More Light, just debuted at #1.  The band will kick off a tour in support of the album July 27 in Boston, with Machine Gun Kelly as the opening act.

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