Chester Bennington 3
Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park performs during the second day of the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 22 September, 2012REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Jared Leto has paid a heartbreaking tribute to Chester Bennington, who died of an apparent suicide on Thursday evening (20 July). The Linkin Park frontman was 41 years old. He is survived by his second wife Talinda and his six children.

The Suicide Squad star took to social media to share an emotional post, in which he has called Bennington an "absolute legend" with an "unforgettable voice".

"When I think of Chester I remember his smile...," the 45-year-old actor wrote on Twitter. "His laughter, intelligence, kindness and talent."

"That absolutely unforgettable voice that was at once – delicate, ferocious and always full of emotion," he said. "Witnessing his life taught me a lot. Especially about commitment, about kindness, about hard work, about the pursuit and achievement of dreams and mostly, about love."

"I know that both his family and his band were a massive source of inspiration and pride for him. It was clear to me that he was deeply grateful for both the people that surrounded him and the life that he had," he said. "My heart goes out to his family, friends, band and fans. A tragic loss of an absolute legend."

Bennington's bandmates - Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Dave Farrell, Joe Hahn and Rob Dourdan - have also spoken about the singer's death for the first time in an open letter.

"Dear Chester, our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened. You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realised. In the past few days, we've seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world," the letter read.

It continued: "Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you. Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled – a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing."

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Jared Leto has paid his tribute to Chester Bennington on TwitterLucas Jackson/ Reuters