Jared Leto took a special moment at the 2017 MTV VMAs to honor his close friend, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, on Sunday night. “Chester was my friend as he was to so many and witnessing his life taught me important things—especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams and being kind and caring while doing it,” the Thirty Seconds to Mars singer began his heartfelt tribute.
He continued to reflect on the late performer, who died by hanging on July 20 at age 41:
“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 how kindly he treated me, my brother, our band. I think about his wife and his six, 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. If there is anyone else out there who is watching this tonight who feels like there is not hope, hear me now: you are not alone.
While Leto's speech was beautiful, it was unfortunately met with two cringe-y moments. The first came when the singer had to almost beg the audience to stand up for Bennington ("I can wait all day"). Then after Leto introduced a clip from Linkin Park's 2010 VMAs performance of "The Catalyst," the video was quickly cut short. Naturally, fans of the band took to social media to express their distaste.
damn the fact that Jared Leto said he could wait all day asking people to stand up for Chester Bennington's memorial is fucking sad. #vmas— Devvy (@sneaselbeasel) August 28, 2017
So rude. First no one stands for the Chester Bennington tribute, then they cut off Linkin Parks performance. #VMAs— ZAwesomePotato (@ZAwesomePotato) August 28, 2017
#VMAs Not cool cutting off the dedication to chester bennington to go to commericals. He deserved so much better than that.— Kelsey Johannes (@kelseyjohannes) August 28, 2017
OMFG ARE YOU JOKING A COMMERCIAL IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS TRIBUTE WTF @MTV 😡— Tyler Carter (@TylerCarter4L) August 28, 2017
Are you fucking joking!? You cut off a tribute to a truly talented vocalist and musician! @MTV sorry he didn't play the damn space bar!— lil rettes (@therettes) August 28, 2017
The messy tribute comes a few days after Bennington's ex-wife Samantha Bennington posted a lengthy Facebook message about his funeral. Calling it a "disgusting delusional display," she claimed "My son & I have not had an opportunity to speak, not even at his funeral (that only represented his life that he was married to his new wife)."
Below, continue to honor Chester Bennington's legacy with this classic Fuse Steven's Untitled Rock Show interview with Linkin Park from a decade ago: