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Linkin Park's Chester Bennington Hospitalized

When he belted out “Somewhere I Belong,” we’re guessing Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington didn’t mean that somewhere to be a hospital bed.

But the alternametal band’s frontman has been confined to a Los Angeles-area hospital since Friday battling a mystery malady, the group’s label has announced.

Bennington was admitted to an undisclosed hospital “after an attack of severe back and abdominal pains,” according to a statement from Warner Bros. Records released Tuesday on Linkin Park’s Website (www.linkinpark.com). “Bennington remains hospitalized as doctors are still trying to determine the cause of these ailments.”

With Bennington idled in sick bay for the forseeable future, Linkin will spend June parked in Los Angeles-the band has nixed its upcoming 12-date European swing, which was slated to begin Saturday in Germany.

“All touring and video shoot plans in Europe have been put on hold this month as we make sure Chester fully recovers,” Warners says. “We wish him the best, and will keep everyone posted as to his condition.”

The group will wait for a diagnosis before deciding whether to cancel its upcoming U.S. dates. Linkin Park is scheduled to play a warm-up gig at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel on June 27 before launching into the hugely anticipated Summer Sanitarium tour alongside Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Mudvayne and the Deftones. The 19-city traveling metal fest kicks off July 4 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Bennington joined the SoCal-based group in 1999. His vocals helped define the quintet’s rap-rock sound and powered Linkin’s 2000 debut, Hybrid Theory, which became the biggest album of 2001, selling more than 8 million copies, and won the band a 2001 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the unavoidable single “Crawling.”

The 2001 remix album, Reanimation, also went platinum and Linkin’s most recent release, Meteora, scored a monster debut in April and has already topped 2 million in sales.

The band says fans can email get-well messages to [email protected].

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