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Comprised of three Followill brothers -- Caleb (guitar), Nathan (drums), and Jared (bass), as well as first cousin Matthew Followill (guitar) -- Kings of Leon formed in 2000. Oklahoma natives, the Followill siblings spent much of their youth traveling to churches across the South with their mother and father, a Pentecostal preacher. While growing up, the boys were only allowed to listen to church music, a rich combination of organs, guitars, pianos, basses, drums and horns. They relocated to Nashville in the late 90s and embraced their interest in rock music, which was denied to them as kids. Matthew was added to the lineup, and a Southern garage rock sound emerged.
Kings of Leon’s debut album Youth and Young Manhood was released in 2003 and became an immediate sensation in the UK and Ireland, where NMEdeclared it "one of the best debut albums of the last 10 years" and The Guardian described the band as "the kind of authentic, hairy rebels The Rolling Stones longed to be". The group achieved opening spots for U2, Pearl Jam and Bob Dylan after the release of their sophomore album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, and continued to garner acclaim with Because of the Times, which debuted at No. 25 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
In 2008, the group released Only By The Night, the record that catapulted the band into the mainstream. The multi-platinum-selling album debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, hit No. 1 in five countries, sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide, and earned Kings of Leon four Grammy® Awards, including wins for their Modern Rock radio multi-week No. 1’s "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody". The album’s success also led to the band’s gracing the covers of Spin and Rolling Stone, performances on Saturday Night Live, sold-out shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, and headlining slots at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits festivals.
On the heels of their most successful album to date, Kings of Leon continued to follow their own muse and refused to play it safe in their latest album Come Around Sundown. Keeping with their grand and propulsive rock sound combined with intimate post-punk moods, the album upped the ante by connecting the dots between the blues, classic rock and gospel influences of the Followills’ childhood to the alternative and indie rock of their adulthood.
Kings of Leon got their start in Nashville by playing open mic nights, songwriters’ nights and booking gigs at local songwriter hot spots like the Bluebird Café. Members collaborated with other Nashville songwriters – most notably Angelo Petraglia – who helped them hone in on their unique rock & roll sound. While Kings of Leon continues to record and tour worldwide, each member calls Nashville home.