Mike Shinoda Passes Away

July 20, 2007
Sara Furuno

Michael Kenji Shinoda, one of the vocalists of Linkin Park, died suddenly of a heart attack Saturday night at his home in Los Angeles.
He was 30.

Doctors believe the fast food diet he had over the many years of touring contributed to the heart failure.
Shinoda’s untimely death occurred just as the band was preparing to tour for “Projekt Revolution 2007,” which was scheduled to premiere on Wednesday. “Minutes to Midnight,” their newest and most-anticipated CD in years, came out in May.

Shinoda was devoted entirely to his work and his passions in art and music.

“We put everything we had into these songs, and want you to hear every second of it,” Shinoda said. “I can’t wait for you to absorb all the levels of meaning in the songs, and the layers of music, eventually forming your own ideas about what the songs mean to you.”

In high school, he started the band Xero, which later evolved into Linkin Park, with guitarist Brad Delson, 29, and drummer Rob Bourdon, 28. After graduation, he chased his artistic talents into the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to study graphic design and illustration. He graduated with a degree in illustration, and got a job as a graphic designer right out of college.
His art is featured on the covers of various bands’ albums, such as Linkin Park and Fort Minor. He recently began showcasing his paintings in art shows in LA.

More than his art, Shinoda’s music is recognized around the world. “Minutes to Midnight” soared to number one on the International Album chart. Linkin Park has already received Platinum status in 10 countries, and Gold status in 15.

“We were just blown away,” Delson said.

During his spare time in 2004, Shinoda created his hip-hop side-project, Fort Minor. The album, “The Rising Tide,” released in 2005, was a collaboration between Shinoda and friends. Shinoda created a vast majority of the instrumental material found on the album.

“The band and I were excited to hear Fort Minor’s music. He worked so hard on it. You should give it a listen when you can,” said Linkin Park singer, Chester Bennington.

Despite his sudden death, Shinoda will be lived on through his family, friends, fans, and hard work. Some will remember him as a musician, or an artist. Others will remember his character and his success.

“Some people ask me why I think Mike is so accomplished,” said Shinoda’s past college roommate, Chris Broamwell. “The answer is simple: he’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met.”

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