Coldplay is a British alternative rock band, formed in London, UK in 1997. The band comprises of Chris Martin (vocals/Piano), Jonny Buckland (lead guitar),Guy Berryman (Bass) and Will Champion (drums).
All four band members met whilst lodging in the same residence at the University College London. Martin was doing a course in Ancient History, Buckland read Maths and Astronomy, champion was an Anthropologist, and Berryman was training to be an engineer.
Both Martin and Buckland had been playing guitar since early teenagers, Berryman learned the bass and despite the fact that Champion prefers to play guitar, he took on the role of drummer.
In 1998, the band released their first EP, which they funded themselves. Five hundred copies were made, and after handing them out to family and friends, their were only 50 or so left to hand out to record companies.
The band played the usual pubs and clubs, when one night whilst performing in Camden, they were spotted by Simon Williams, the co-founder of Fierce Panda Records. He immediately offered the boys a one-off deal and they went about releasing the ‘Brothers and Sisters’ EP on the Fierce Panda Label.
After being dubbed the band to watch by the NME, later in 1999 they signed to Parlophone Records.
The band’s second album, ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ (2002), was released to critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including NME‘s ‘Album of the Year’. Their 2005 album, ‘X&Y’, also dominated the charts quickly becoming the best selling album of 2005 with global sales of 8.3 million.
The boys followed this album release with a ‘Twisted Logic Tour’ that ran between 2005 and 2006.
At the Brit Awards 2006, Chris Martin stated that fans would not see them for a long time, suggesting it would be some time before another studio album was released, if at all. However, the previous day on Valentine’s Day 2006, during UK Radio DJ Chris Moyles’ Breakfast show, Martin had said, “The next album is very good, and I know because it is already written”.
In 2007, the band were very selective about performances as they began working on their fourth studio album ‘Viva La Vida’ or ‘Death and All His Friends’ which was released around mid 2008.
Lead single ‘Viva la Vida’ was exclusively released on iTunes and became the band’s first UK number one based on downloads alone. According to the BBC, the album topped the charts after just three days of being released making it the fastest selling record in UK history. Once again to promote the album, the boys went on tour.
Also in 2008, Coldplay released “Lhuna” with Kylie Minogue at the launch of the “Redwire” website to mark World AIDS Day.
In 2010, the band only released one single titled ‘Christmas Lights’ and spent the rest of the year touring and recording.
In 2011, the band released it’s fifth studio album titled ‘Mylo Xyloto. The Mylo Xyloto Tour was named the fourth-highest-grossing tour worldwide of 2012 with more than $171.3 million earned in ticket sales. On 21 November, after a concert in Brisbane, Australia as part on the group’s Mylo Xyloto Tour, Coldplay hinted they are set to take a three-year break from touring. In the same interview, Martin debunked speculation that they were taking a break from touring by saying, “This three-year break idea only came about because I said at a gig in Australia that we might not be back there for three years. That’s probably true, but that’s just how a world tour works. No chance are we taking a three-year break.”
Coldplay are one of very few current British music acts to achieve major success in North America. Despite their large worldwide popularity, the band has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for product endorsements. In the past, Coldplay had turned down multi-million dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke, and Gap, who wanted to use the songs “Yellow”, Trouble, and Don’t Panic respectively.
The band has won a number of music awards throughout their career, including eight Brit Awards winning Best British Group three times, five MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awards from twenty five nominations. Coldplay have sold more than 60 million records worldwide. In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s.
Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam‘s Make Trade Faircampaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, The Secret Policeman’s Ball, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.