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Stone Temple Pilots' Dean DeLeo remembers his friend and former band mate, Chester Bennington: "I loved everything about" him

ABC/Randy HolmesStone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo has shared his thoughts on the death of his friend and former band mate, Chester Bennington, who played with STP from 2013-2015.

"There was nothing I didn't enjoy about being Chester's friend and brother and musical companion," DeLeo tells ABC Radio. "I loved everything about Chester."

Like many others, DeLeo was shocked to hear the news of Bennington's death, which has been ruled a suicide. In fact, DeLeo says he spoke with Bennington the night before he died.

"That one was a hard hit, man," DeLeo says.

Bennington's death reverberated through all corners of the music world, and as big a loss as the singer's death was musically, DeLeo can't help but think of Bennington's wife, Talinda, and his six children.

"I can only imagine the depth of sadness and sorrow and puzzlement that [Bennington's death] has caused his wife," says DeLeo. "I think about her a lot."

"A tragic loss," he adds. "I really, really, really loved Chester." 

Bennington joined Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 after the band parted ways with original frontman Scott Weiland. He left the group in November 2015 to focus more on Linkin Park; Weiland died a month later. In February 2016, STP announced that they'd be holding auditions for a new lead singer.

This fall, STP will reissue their 1992 debut album Core in honor of its 25th anniversary.

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