Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda wrote this song with English songwriter Eg White, the man behind such UK hits as Will Young's Ivor Novello Award winning "Leave Right Now" and Adele's "Chasing Pavements."
The lyrics were inspired by the tragic death of Amy Zaret, who had worked for Warner Bros. Records for 25 years. Speaking on L.A. radio show Zach Sang and the Gang, Shinoda explained:
"It's kind of sad… a friend of ours who worked for the label passed away. She got cancer and it was, like, really, really fast. It was super sad.
I was in the studio with Eg [White], and we had been talking…I told him, 'Dude, there's nothing else on my mind today.' He was telling me about one of his friends who had passed away, and we just got on this thing like, let's just write about it.
The point of the song is that through something really, really traumatic…one of the most important things you can do is to let people know that you care."
The song serves as the title track of Linkin Park's seventh album. Guitarist Brad Delson told HMV.com: "I don't think we've ever named an album after a song before, we've resisted doing that. But it's a beautiful song and it's got a very specific meaning. We beat ourselves up over titles and when we landed on that title everyone just agreed, that never happens!"
Co-vocalist Chester Bennington told Genius in a video interview: "The lyrics are an example of what life is, which is a series of events that are challenging. The perspective was we're going to turn these ordeals into adventures. It just turned out that 'One More Light,' even though it was a difficult song and kind of the most emotionally heavy song, also had the most uplifting title in my opinion."
Following the tragic suicide of Chester Bennington on July 20, 2017, Linkin Park released a music video for this song as a tribute to their fallen singer. The visual features clips from the band's history spliced in with footage from their 2017 world tour. It was directed by long-term collaborator Mark Fiore and band member Joe Hahn.
"It has been incredibly emotional to work on this, and especially to watch it," Hahn said. "I feel that by doing it, we not only faced some of our biggest fears, but it enabled us to use our talents to bring some light to people that need it."
Mike Shinoda told KROQ Radio the decision to make a video for "One More Light" was inspired by the show of love and support from fans all over the world:
"The fans have been incredible. I don't think we could have ever expected such an outpouring of love and all these tributes… Fans everywhere were making these montages of images of Chester, images of themselves to this song and so we realized it struck a chord with them and we wanted to let them know we see that, we hear that so we made an official video for that."