"Chester was my friend, as he was to so many. And witnessing his life taught me important things," Leto said during the touching moment. "Especially about working relentlessly, pursuing dreams, and being kind and caring while doing it. When I think about him, Chester, I see his face which was always smiling."
He continued, "I think about his heart, which he wore on his sleeve. I think how kindly he treated me, my brother, our band. I think about his wife and his six, six incredible children. I think about his family...I think about his band, who were really his brothers, and I remember his voice. At once ferocious and delicate, that voice will live forever."
Leto also honored Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who died from suicide by hanging in May, and took a moment to remind everyone suffering from depression that they are not alone.
"If there is anyone out there who is watching this tonight, who feels like there is no hope, hear me now," Leto said. "You are not alone. There is always a way forward. Reach out, share your thoughts, do not give up, and, I promise you this: The absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lay just beyond the darkest days."
After his speech, Leto welcomed Linkin Park to the stage, who performed in honor of both late stars.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).