Under the Xero configuration of just Shinoda, Bourdon, and Delson, they recruited Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and Mark Wakefield. Though limited in resources, the band began recording and producing songs within Shinoda's makeshift bedroom studio in 1996, resulting in a four-track demo tape, entitled Xero. The line-up proved unstable. It was with the arrival of vocalist Chester Bennington when the name changed to Hybrid Theory.
Under the Hybrid Theory name, in 1999, they released a self-titled extended play. It was soon after that another name change came, however, this time to Linkin Park, a play on and homage to Santa Monica's Lincoln Park. They initially wanted to use the name "Lincoln Park", however, to secure the rights to the on-line name "linkinpark.com" they changed it "Linkin".
Linkin Park came to rise on the wave of the heavily saturated nu-metal movement that swepped America during the turn of the millennium. After being offered a deal after their very first gig at L.A.'s 'Whisky' bar, they would soon after sign to 'Warner' for their debut Hybrid Theory (2000), an album that got them a 9 in the UK (16 in the US), the album proved to be a massive success by selling 4.8 million copies on its debut year; the resulting singles also charted decently. In 2001 it earned the status of 'best-selling album'.
As "fly" as Linkin Park is they lack neither the funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the consistent thump of Metallica or the conviction of Rage Against The Machine, and that's a dangerous situation in the over-saturated world full of mediocre acts on near bankrupt major labels that now exist, but they managed to push through the crowd of music success, and that success continued with the follow-up now reunited with former bassist Phoenix, the band began work on a remix album, dubbed Reanimation, which would include works from Hybrid Theory and non-album tracks. Reanimation debuted on July 30, 2002, featuring guests Black Thought, Jonathan Davis, Aaron Lewis, and many more. The album received a 2 on the Billboard 200, and sold nearly 270,000 copies during its debut week.
Meteora (2003) featured a mix of the band's nu-metal and rap metal style with newer effects, including the induction of a shakuhachi (a Japanese flute made of bamboo) and other instruments. The album debuted on March 25, 2003 and instantly earned worldwide recognition by getting 1 in the US and UK, and 2 in Australia. Meteora sold more than 800,000 copies during its first week, and it ranked as the best selling album on the Billboard charts at the time.
Linkin Park now worked on many side projects. Bennington appeared on DJ Lethal's State of the Art and other work with Dead by Sunrise, while Shinoda worked work with Depeche Mode. In 2004, the band began to work with Jay-Z to produce another remix album, Collision Course. The album, which featured intermixed lyrics and background tracks from both artists' previous albums, in 2004. Shinoda also formed Fort Minor as a side project. With the aid of Jay-Z, Fort Minor released its debut album, The Rising Tied.
Minutes to Midnight (2007) arrived with five of the original seventeen tracks removed in an effort to revise the work. The album's title, a reference to the Doomsday Clock, foreshadowed the band's new lyrical themes. The album sold over 625,000 copies in its first week, making it one of the most successful debut week albums in recent years.
On April 26, Linkin Park released an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, a game called 8-Bit Rebellion! It featured the band as playable characters, and a new song called "Blackbirds" which was unlockable by beating the game. The song was also later released as an iTunes bonus track on A Thousand Suns. The album itself arrived on September 14, 2009.
Living Things followed in 2012 to sell over 223,000 copies during its debut week, reaching 1 on the US Albums Charts. Linkin Park's single, Castle of Glass, was nominated for 'Best Song in a Game' at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards.
On August 10, 2013, the band collaborated with American musician Steve Aoki to record the song A Light That Never Comes for Linkin Park's online puzzle-action game LP Recharge (short for Linkin Park Recharge). Linkin Park made a post on their Facebook explaining that the song used to promote the game would be included on the new remix album, Recharged (2013). Similar to Reanimation, the album featured remixes of ten of the songs from Living Things, with contributions from other artists, Ryu of Styles of Beyond, Pusha T, Datsik, KillSonik, Bun B, Money Mark, and Rick Rubin. The band also worked on the soundtrack for the film Mall.
On November 9, 2014, MTV Europe named Linkin Park the "Best Rock" act of 2014 at their annual music awards ceremony.
Linkin Park collaborated with Steve Aoki on the song Darker Than Blood for Aoki's album Neon Future II (2015).
The Hunting Party (2014) and One More Light (2017) followed.
Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington died by hanging, presumed suicide, over depression and drug abuse in 2017. The band would go on hiatus until 2020.Footnote: In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium. Billboard ranked them 19 on the 'Best Artists of the Decade' chart.