Linkin Park was formed in 1996 by high school friends Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Rob Bourdon. After graduating from California's Agoura High School, the three friends also recruited Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and Mark Wakefield to join the band and called themselves Xero. Failure to land a record deal prompted then-vocalist Mark Wakefield to leave the band in 1998, and when he was replaced by Chester Bennington in 1999, the band changed their name to Hybrid Theory and then again to Linkin Park.
The group was signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1999 and released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, in October of 2000. The album has sold more than 24 million copies worldwide, earning a diamond certification by the RIAA. Linkin Park also received a Grammy in 2002 for Best Hard Rock Performance for the single "Crawling" and nominations for Best Rock Album and Best New Artist. Linkin Park also produced a remix album of works from Hybrid Theory in July of 2002, titled Reanimation. This album sold nearly 270,000 copies during the first week of sales and went on to achieve platinum certification.
Linkin Park's next two studio albums, Meteora (2003) and Minutes to Midnight (2007), have both been wildly successful, attaining six times and triple platinum certifications, respectively. Meteora also garnered several awards for Linkin Park, including VMAs for Best Rock Video and the Viewer's Choice Awards, as well as Radio Music Awards for Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.