The Band: It all began in the west San Fernando Valley of Southern California when Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon became fast friends while attending high school in Agoura Hills. After graduation, with the addition of Joseph Hahn and Phoenix, the band took the name Xero, then morphed into Hybrid Theory with changes to its membership. The final piece fell into place in 1999 in the form of Arizona vocalist Chester Bennington, and they chose the name Linkin Park, a wry variation of a local park in Santa Monica, California.
Their signing to Warner Bros. Records led to their debut album, Hybrid Theory, in October 2000. Exploring frustration, anger, fear and confusion from a younger person's perspective, Hybrid Theory was lauded by Rolling Stone as "twelve songs of compact fire indivisibly blending alternative metal, hip-hop, and turntable art." It launched three chart-topping singles including "In The End," received a 2002 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for "Crawling," as well as nominations for Best Rock Album and Best New Artist.
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