Jared Leto Honors Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell at MTV Video Music Awards

Jared LetoKevin Winter, Getty Images

During the MTV Video Music Awards tonight (Aug. 27), Thirty Seconds to MarsJared Leto took the stage to pay tribute to Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell.

“MTV asked me to come here today to say a few words about Chester and the late great Chris Cornell — two artists I had the absolute pleasure of touring with,” said Leto. “They were close friends with one another, Chester even singing a cover of the classic ‘Hallelujah’ at Chris’ funeral. Chester said of Chris, ‘Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up until one.’ Just weeks later, Chester himself was gone”

“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,” continued Leto.  “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 about his wife and 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 out there who is watching this tonight who feels like there is no hope, hear me now, you are not alone. There is always a way forward. Reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up, and I promise you this: The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days.”

Leto then asked the crowd to get up on their feet and make some noise as he introduced a clip of Linkin Park performing ‘The Catalyst’ at the 2010 VMAs. However, MTV only aired a small portion of the performance before cutting to commercial.

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