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 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, and won nominations for Best Rock Album and Best New Artist. Following the innovative Reanimation, a remix album which featured collaborations with Black Thought, Jonathan Davis and others that rose to number 2 on the Billboard 200, Linkin Park underwent a painstaking approach in the creation of their next album, Meteora. Released in March 2003, the album offered a wider sound palette and an even more diverse array of styles: from wildly distressed samples and heavy guitars on songs such as Somewhere I Belong, to strings and piano on Breaking The Habit to complex beats on Easier To Run, all complemented by Bennington's and Shinoda's powerful vocals. In late 2004, the ambitious Collision Course again found Linkin Park in collaboration, creating mash-ups of seven LP songs and six Jay-Z songs, and winning another Grammy for Numb/Encore.
Minutes To Midnight was the third studio release from Linkin Park, released internationally in 2007. The album, co-produced by the legendary Rick Rubin and band frontman Mike Shinoda, took 14 months to write and record. This intensive process resulted in the recording of over one hundred rough ideas for songs.