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Coldplay - December 2008.jpg
Coldplay at the very end of a concert in December 2008. From left to right: Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Chris Martin, and Will Champion.
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresAlternative rock, Post-Britpop[1]
Years active1996–present
LabelsParlophone, Capitol, Atlantic
MembersChris Martin
Jonny Buckland
Guy Berryman
Will Champion

Coldplay is an English rock band formed in London in 1996. The band's members are vocalist/pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bass player Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion. Coldplay became famous around the world with their 2000 song "Yellow". Their first album, Parachutes, was very successful and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Coldplay were nominated for this award again in 2003 and 2005. Coldplay is one of the most successful bands of the 21st century, selling over 90 million records worldwide. The band is also known for hit singles, including "Speed of Sound" and the 2 Grammy Award-winning songs, "Clocks" and their 2008 single "Viva la Vida" (Song of the Year for 2008).

History[change | change source]

Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis.[2] They had achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single "Yellow" in 2000, followed by their debut album ''Parachutes'' released in the same year, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band's second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), won multiple awards, including NME's Album of the Year. Their next release, X&Y, received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception upon its release in 2005. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews, earning several Grammy nominations and wins.

Since the release of Parachutes, Coldplay have drawn influence from other sources, including Echo & the Bunnymen,[3] Kate Bush, George Harrison[4] and Muse[5] on A Rush of Blood to the Head, Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y [6] and Blur, Arcade Fire and My Bloody Valentine on Viva la Vida.[7] Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign 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, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.[8]

Formation and first years (1996–1999)[change | change source]

Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland first met during their orientation week at University College London (UCL) in September 1996. The pair spent the rest of the college year planning a band, ultimately forming a group called Pectoralz.[9] Guy Berryman, a classmate of Martin and Buckland, later joined the group. By 1997, the group, who had renamed themselves Starfish, performed gigs for local Camden promoters at small clubs.[10] Martin also had recruited his longtime school friend Phil Harvey, who was studying classics at Oxford, to be the band's manager.[11] Coldplay have since accepted Harvey as the fifth member of the group.[12] The band's lineup was completed when Will Champion joined to take up percussion duties. Champion had grown up playing piano, guitar, bass, and tin whistle; he quickly learned the drums, despite having no previous experience.[9] The band finally settled on the name "Coldplay" which was suggested by Tim Crompton, a local student who had been using the name for his group.[12] By 1997, Martin had also met then Classics student Tim Rice-Oxley. During a weekend on Virginia Water, they asked each other to play off their own songs on the piano. Martin, finding Rice-Oxley to be talented, asked him to be Coldplay's keyboard player but Rice-Oxley refused as his own band, Keane, was already operational. Days after, this event would shape the second line-up of Keane and keep Coldplay's unaltered, thus leaving both bands as quartets.[13]

In 1998, the band released 500 copies of the Safety EP.[14] Most of the discs were given to record companies and friends; only 50 copies remained for sale to the public. In December of that year, Coldplay signed to the independent label Fierce Panda.[14] Their first release was the three-track Brothers & Sisters EP, which they had quickly recorded over four days in February 1999.[14]

After completing their final examinations, Coldplay signed to Parlophone for a five-album contract in the spring of 1999.[13] After making their first appearance at Glastonbury, the band went into studio to record a third EP titled The Blue Room.[15] Five thousand copies were made available to the public in October,[16] and the single "Bigger Stronger", received BBC Radio 1 airplay. The recording sessions for The Blue Room were tumultuous. Martin kicked Champion out of the band but later pleaded with him to return, and because of his guilt, went on a drinking binge. Eventually, the band worked out their differences and put in place a new set of rules to keep the group intact. Inspired by bands such as U2 and R.E.M., Coldplay decided that they would operate as democracy, and that profits would be shared equally. Additionally, the band determined they would fire anyone who used hard drugs.[17]

Parachutes (1999–2000)[change | change source]

At first, the band planned to record their debut album in the space of two weeks. However, tours and other live performances caused the recording to spread out between September 1999 and April–May 2000.[18] In March 1999, Coldplay began work on their debut album, recorded at Rockfield Studios, Matrix Studios, and Wessex Sound Studios with producer Ken Nelson, although the majority of Parachutes' tracks were recorded at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios. The band worked in three studio rooms at Parr Street, and tracked much of the album in one of these rooms—the project studio which Nelson describes as "basically a demo room". The album was mixed by American engineer Michael Brauer in New York. Coldplay's record label had originally intended to use a mixing engineer for the tracks they picked as singles, but eventually hired Brauer to work on all songs for the album.[19] During that period, they played on the Carling Tour, which showcased up-and-coming acts.[20]

After releasing three EPs without a hit song, Coldplay charted into the Top 40 with the lead single from Parachutes, "Shiver". Released in March 2000, it reached number 35 on the UK Singles Chart.[21] June 2000 was a pivotal moment in Coldplay's history: the band embarked on their first headlining tour, including a showing at the Glastonbury Festival. The band also released the breakthrough single "Yellow".[22] The song shot to number four on the UK Singles Chart and placed Coldplay in public consciousness.[22] "Yellow" and "Shiver" were initially released as EPs in the spring of 2000.[23] The former was later released as a single in UK on 26 June 2000. In the United States, the song was released as the lead single off the then-untitled debut album. In October 2000, the track was sent to US college and alternative radio outlets.[24]

Coldplay released their first studio album, Parachutes, on 10 July 2000 in the United Kingdom by their record label, Parlophone. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart.[25] It was released on 7 November 2000 by record label Nettwerk in North America.[26] The album has been made available on various formats since its initial release; both Parlophone and Nettwerk released it as a CD in 2000, and it was also released as a cassette by newfound US label Capitol in 2001. In the following year, Parlophone issued the album as an LP.[27] The band released a limited-edition CD of "Trouble", the third single off the album, which features a remix of "Yellow". It was pressed to 1,000 copies, and was issued only to fans and journalists.[28] Both "Yellow" and "Trouble" earned regular radio airplay in the UK and US.[29]

Parachutes was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in September 2000.[30] Having found success in Europe, the band set their sights on North America,[31] released the album there in November 2000, and started the U.S. Club Tour in February 2001.[32] Although Parachutes was a slow-burning success in the United States, it eventually reached double-platinum status.[33] The album was critically well-received and earned a Best Alternative Music Album honours at the 2002 Grammy Awards.[34] Chris Martin claimed after the release of Parachutes the album's success was intended to achieve the band's status as the "biggest, best band in the world."[35]

A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002–2004)[change | change source]

After the success of Parachutes, Coldplay returned to the studio in September 2001 to begin work on their second album A Rush of Blood to the Head, once again with Ken Nelson producing. The band started recording the album in London a week after the September 11 attacks in the United States. Since the band had never stayed in London before, they had trouble focusing. They decided to relocate in Liverpool, where they recorded some of the songs on Parachutes. Once there, vocalist Chris Martin said that they became obsessed with recording. "In My Place" was the first song recorded for the album. The band released it as the album's lead single because it was the track that made them want to record a second album following a "strange period of not really knowing what we were doing" three months after the success of Parachutes. According to Martin "one thing kept us going: recording 'In My Place'. Then other songs started coming."[36]

The band wrote more than 20 songs for the album. Some of their new material, including "In My Place" and "Animals", was played live while the band were still touring Parachutes.[28][37] The album's title was revealed through a post on the band's official website.[38] The album was released in August 2002 and spawned several popular singles, including "In My Place", "Clocks", and the ballad "The Scientist". The latter was inspired from George Harrison's title track to All Things Must Pass, which was released in 1970.[4]

Coldplay toured from June 2002 to September 2003 for the A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour. They visited five continents, including co-headlining festival dates at Glastonbury Festival,[16] V2003 and Rock Werchter. Many concerts showcased elaborate lighting and individualised screens reminiscent of U2's Elevation Tour and Nine Inch Nails' Fragility Tour.[39] During the extended tour, Coldplay recorded a live DVD and CD, Live 2003, at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion.[40]

In December 2003, readers of Rolling Stone chose Coldplay as the best artist and the best band of the year.[41] At that time the band covered The Pretenders' 1983 song "2000 Miles" (which was made available for download on their official website). "2000 Miles" was the top selling UK download that year, with proceeds from the sales donated to Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence campaigns.[42] A Rush of Blood to the Head won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards.[43] At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Coldplay earned Record of the Year for "Clocks".[34]

X&Y (2005–2006)[change | change source]

Coldplay, live at Barcelona in 2005.

Coldplay spent most of 2004 out of the spotlight, taking a break from touring while recording their third album.[44] X&Y was released in June 2005 in UK and Europe.[45] This new, delayed release date had put the album back into the next fiscal year, actually causing EMI's stock to drop.[46][47] It became the best-selling album of 2005 with worldwide sales of 8.3 million.[48] The lead single, "Speed of Sound",[49] made its radio and online music store debut on 18 April and was released as a CD on 23 May 2005.[50] The album debuted at number one in 20 countries worldwide,[51] and was the third-fastest selling album in UK chart history.[52] Two other singles were released that year: "Fix You" in September and "Talk" in December. Critical reaction to X&Y was less enthusiastic than that of its predecessor, with New York Times critic Jon Pareles describing Coldplay as "the most insufferable band of the decade"[53] Comparisons between Coldplay and U2 became increasingly common, although critical reaction to the album was still largely positive.[54] Chris Martin later revealed that the negative remarks made him feel "liberated".[55]

From June 2005 to July 2006, Coldplay went on their Twisted Logic Tour, which included festival dates like Coachella, Isle of Wight Festival, Glastonbury and the Austin City Limits Music Festival.[56] In July 2005, the band appeared at Live 8 in Hyde Park, where they played a rendition of The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" with Richard Ashcroft on vocals.[57] In September, Coldplay recorded a new version of "How You See the World" with reworked lyrics for War Child's Help!: A Day in the Life charity album.[58] In February 2006, Coldplay earned Best Album and Best Single honours at the BRIT Awards.[59] Two more singles were released during 2006, "The Hardest Part" and "What If". The sixth and final single, "White Shadows" was released in Mexico during June 2007.

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008–2009)[change | change source]

In October 2006, Coldplay began work on their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, with producer Brian Eno.[60] Taking a break from recording, the band toured Latin America in early 2007, performing in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.[61] After recording in churches and other venues in Latin America and Spain during their tour, the band said the album would likely reflect Hispanic influence.[62] The group spent the rest of the year recording with Eno.[63]

Martin described Viva la Vida as a new direction for Coldplay: a change from their past three albums, which they have referred to as a "trilogy".[64] He said the album featured less falsetto as he allowed his voice's lower register to take precedence.[64] Some songs, such as "Violet Hill", contain distorted guitar riffs and bluesy undertones.[64] "Violet Hill" was confirmed as the first single, with a radio release date of 29 April 2008.[65] After the first play, it was freely obtainable from Coldplay's website from 12:15 pm (GMT +0) for one week (achieving two million downloads),[66] until it became commercially available to download on 6 May.[67][68] "Violet Hill" entered the UK Top 10, US Top 40 (entering the Top 10 in the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart) and charted well in the rest of the world.[69] The title track, "Viva la Vida", was also released exclusively on iTunes. It became the band's first number one on the Billboard Hot 100,[70] and their first UK number one, based on download sales alone.[71]

On 15 June 2008, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends topped the UK album chart, despite having come on the market only three days previously. In that time, it sold 302,000 copies; the BBC called it "one of the fastest-selling records in UK history".[72] By the end of June, it had set a new record for most-downloaded album ever.[73][74] In October 2008, Coldplay won two Q Awards for Best Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and Best Act in the World Today.[75] The band followed up Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends with the Prospekt's March EP, which was released on 21 November 2008. The EP features tracks from the Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends sessions and,[76][77] as well as being available on its own, was issued as a bonus disc with later editions of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.[78] The song "Life in Technicolor II" was released as a single on 9 February 2009.

Coldplay performing live outside the BBC Television Centre during their Viva la Vida Tour in 2008

In June, Coldplay began their Viva la Vida Tour with a free concert at Brixton Academy in London.[79] This was followed two days later by a 45-minute performance that was broadcast live from outside BBC Television Centre.[80] "Lost!" became the third single from the album, featuring a new version with Jay-Z. Coldplay performed the opening set on 14 March 2009 for Sound Relief at the Sydney Cricket Ground and then played a sold-out concert later that same night.[81] Sound Relief is a benefit concert for victims of the Victorian Bushfire Crisis and the Queensland Floods.[82]

In 2009, Coldplay was nominated for four BRIT Awards: British Group, British Live Act, British Single ("Viva la Vida") and British Album (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends).[83] At the 51st Grammy Awards in February 2009, Coldplay won three Grammy Awards in the categories for Song of Year for "Viva la Vida", Best Rock Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Best Vocal Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for "Viva la Vida".[84][85]

On 15 May 2009, Coldplay released a live album, entitled LeftRightLeftRightLeft which was recorded at various shows during the tour. LeftRightLeftRightLeft was to be given away at the remaining concerts of their Viva la Vida tour. It was also released as a free download from their website.[86]

Mylo Xyloto (2009–2011)[change | change source]

Coldplay finished recording the new album in 2011. The band finished recording the new album in mid-2011.

Logo used for the release of Mylo Xyloto.

On 19 October 2011, Coldplay performed songs at an event for Steve Jobs, including "Viva la Vida", "Fix You", "Yellow" and "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall".[87] On 26 October their concert in Spain, was streamed by YouTube as a live webcast.[88] On 30 November 2011, Coldplay received three Grammy Award nominations for the 54th Grammy Awards.[89] On 12 January 2012, Coldplay were nominated for two Brit Awards.[90] On 21 February 2012, they were awarded the Brit Award for Best British Group for the third time.[91] The album was the best-selling rock album in the UK in 2011, selling 908,000 copies.[92] The album's second single, "Paradise", was also the best-selling rock single in the UK, selling 410,000 copies.[92] At the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards on 6 September, "Paradise" won the award for Best Rock Video.[93] Mylo Xyloto has sold over 8 million copies.[94]

Ghost Stories (2013–2014)[change | change source]

On 9 August 2013, Coldplay announced the release of their song "Altas", which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Its release was pushed back to 6 September 2013 (worldwide except for the UK) and 8 September (UK). In December 2013, it was announced that Coldplay's future releases would be distributed by Atlantic Records in the US due to changes within Warner Music Group after the purchase of Parlophone Records from EMI.

On 25 February 2014, the band revealed "Midnight", a track from their unreleased album at that time. In early March 2014, it was announced that the band's sixth album, Ghost Stories, would be released on 19 May 2014. Ghost Stories is a spiritually driven album that revolves around two major themes mentioned by Chris Martin. The album explores the idea of past actions, and the effects they can have on one's future and the person's ability for unconditional love. A different approach was taken by the band for the album as compared to their previous studio albums. In this album, Martin invited the band to contribute original songwriting material for the album, as opposed to building songs off his ideas as they had done during previous recording sessions.

From April to July, Coldplay held a six-date Ghost Stories Tour to support the album, playing shows in six cities: the Beacon Theatre in New York City on 5 May, Royce Hall in Los Angeles on 19 May, Casino de Paris in Paris on 28 May, Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo on 12 June, Enmore Theatre in Sydney on 19 June, and closed the tour at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 2 July 2014. The album was made available for pre-order on iTunes, alongside new single "Magic". Two more singles from the album, "A Sky Full of Stars" and "True Love", have since been released. Ghost Stories received mixed to positive reviews. The album topped the charts in the UK, the US and most major markets. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album, and "A Sky Full of Stars" was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. In December 2014, Spotify named Coldplay as the most-streamed band in the world for 2014, and the third most-streamed artist behind Ed Sheeran and Eminem.

A Head Full of Dreams (2015–2018)[change | change source]

On 11 December 2014, the band released "Miracles", which was written and recorded for the World War II drama movie Unbroken. Ghost Stories was named Top Rock Album at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.

The release date of A Head Full of Dreams was confirmed to be 4 December, while Coldplay was speaking on Nick Grimshaw's Radio 1 Breakfast Show on the BBC on 6 November. The song "Adventure of a Lifetime" premiered on the show. The album reached number one in the UK, and number two in the US, Australia and Canada among others. The music video for "Adventure of a Lifetime" featured the band performing as chimpanzees. They were provided consultation with renowned performance capture actor Andy Serkis.

On 27 November 2015, the first dates to their 2016 A Head Full of Dreams Tour were announced. Latin America and European stops were listed, which included three dates at the Wembley Stadium, London in June. The North America Tour, one additional concent at Wembley, and an Oceania tour were later added. On 5 December, the band headlined the opening day of the 2015 Jingle Bell Ball at London's O2 Arena. On 7 December, they headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, being joined by Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. In April 2016, the band were named the sixth best-selling artist worldwide in 2015.

On 26 June 2016, Coldplay closed the final day of the Glastonbury Festival in England. Their performance included a duet with Barry Gibb, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees. During the band's second night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on 18 July, Coldplay were joined onstage by Michael J. Fox to recreate a Back to the Future scene. Martin sang "Earth Angel" before introducing Fox onstage to join the band in performing the Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode".

The band performed a full set in India for the first time as part of the Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai on 19 November 2016. This performance was attended by 80,000 people and also featured many Bollywood stars during the concert. In the same month, Coldplay announced in interviews with Absolute Radio and Magic Radio in London that they would be releasing new songs in a new extended play(EP) called the Kaleidoscope EP. The band officially announced that the EP was going to be released in 2017, and it was eventually released on 14 July 2017.

On 22 February 2017, the band released "Something Just Like This", a collaboration track with EDM duo The Chainsmokers. It is the lead single from Coldplay's thirteenth EP Kaleidoscope, and the song reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Together, they debuted the song live at the 2017 Brit Awards with Chris Martin also performing a tribute song to the late George Michael. On 2 March, Martin's birthday, the band released a track from the EP, "Hypnotised". Two other songs, "All I Can Think About Is You" and "Aliens", were released on 15 June and 6 July respectively. On 15 August, Coldplay announced that a live album covering the A Head Full of Dreams Tour would be released.

On 8 October 2017, Coldplay debuted their new song "Life Is Beautiful" live at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, California. It was written in supported after the earthquake that affected Mexico on 19 September. Part of the band's show was broadcast at the end of Estamos Unidos Mexicanos, a benefit concert taken place at Mexico City's Zócalo. Martin stated that the proceeds from the song and concert would be donated to relief efforts for Mexico and other countries.

The A Head Full of Dreams Tour finished in November 2017. Grossing over $523 million, it was listed as the third-grossing concert tour of all time. The live album, Live in Buenos Aires, was released on 7 December 2018. A second release, Love in Tokyo, was released exclusively for the Japanese market on the same day. On 30 November 2018, Coldplay released Global Citizen – EP 1 under the name Los Unidades. Proceeds from the EP were donated towards efforts to end global poverty.

Everyday Life (2019–2020)[change | change source]

On 26 September 2019, Global Citizen announced that Coldplay would perform at Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream on 26 September 2020. On 18 October 2019, mysterious black-and-white posters began appearing in various countries around the world, with the band in vintage-style clothing and a date showing 22 November 1919. The band also changed their profile pictures on social media to a sun and moon, making fans speculate an imminent release of new material. On 19 October 2019, a cryptic 5 second teaser was released on social media with orchestral music in the background. On 21 October 2019, in a letter sent to fans, the band announced that their eighth studio album would be titled Everyday Life. It would be a double album, with the first half titled Sunrise and the second half titled Sunset.

On 23 October 2019, the album tracks were revealed in advertisements on local newspapers in the UK, including north Wales' Daily Post (with whom Jonny Buckland once had a holiday job), and Exeter's Express & Echo (the newspaper of Chris Martin's hometown). On the Annie Mac show on BBC Radio 1, "Orphans" and "Arabesque" were released as the album's lead singles, with "Arabesque" being the first Coldplay song to have profanity in it. The album was released on 22 November 2019 and marked by a double concert in Amman, Jordan. The concert, which streamed live to YouTube, was performed at sunrise and sunset, corresponding with the subtitles of the album's two halves.

Earlier, Martin had said that the band would not tour to promote the album until they could work out "how our tour can not only be sustainable (but) how can it be actively beneficial", and hope that it would be entirely carbon-neutral. However, Coldplay performed a one-off show on 25 November 2019 for the charity ClientEarth at London's Natural History Museum. The band played beneath Hope, a giant 128-year-old skeleton of a blue whale in the museum's great hall. On 24 November 2020, Coldplay received two nominations for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, with one of them being Album of the Year, their first nomination in the category since Viva la Vida. On 21 December 2020, "Flags", originally included as a Japanese bonus track of Everyday Life, was released internationally.

Music of the Spheres (2021–present)[change | change source]

On 29 April 2021, Coldplay announced "Higher Power", a new single, to be released on 7 May 2021 with a video livestream to be aired from the International Space Station. Chris Martin stated in an interview with Zane Lowe that the band would be working with Max Martin and his team on both the song and the new album. He said, "Max is our producer right now for everything we do". On 4 May 2021, Coldplay was announced as the opening act for the 2021 Brit Awards, where they would be performing "Higher Power".

On 22 May 2021, their pre-recorded performance at Glastonbury Festival was broadcast online. The band also showcased a new song called "Human Heart", featuring R&B duo We Are King. On 8 June 2021, the "official" music video for "Higher Power", directed by Dave Meyers, premiered on YouTube. It was followed by a simpler music video featuring the band performing the song while dancing with CGI alien holograms that premiered on 7 May 2021. On 20 July 2021, Coldplay announced that their new album Music of the Spheres would be released on 15 October 2021, and also announced a track titled "Coloratura", which was released on 23 July 2021.

On 13 September 2021, they announced the second single, "My Universe", with South Korean pop group BTS. It was released on 24 September 2021. The song debuted at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart, being their highest-peaking single since "Something Just Like This" and later went on to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. A short documentary about the collaboration was later released on 26 September 2021 on the official BTS YouTube channel.

Music of the Spheres debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the fastest-selling album in the country since Ed Sheeran's 2019 No.6 Collaborations Project. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart, and reached number one on both the Top Alternative Albums and the Top Rock Albums charts. On 14 October 2021, Coldplay announced their eighth concert tour, the Music of the Spheres World Tour, which will begin in San José, Costa Rica, in March 2022. They will visit three continents, with more tour dates to be announced in the future. The tour is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the band's carbon footprint; Chris Martin explained in an interview with BBC that the tour would feature "kinetic flooring" that powers the concerts through the movement of concertgoers, as well as bicycles that do the same thing, meaning that "the whole show is powered from renewable energy". Martin said the band's goal is that they will have "slightly shifted the status quo of how a tour works". On 23 November 2021, "Higher Power" was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. In December 2021, Martin said Coldplay would release three more albums until 2025 during an interview for BBC, with one of them being "kind of a musical" while their last will be a "back to the basics" self-titled record. He added, however, that the band will still be active with smaller releases and worldwide touring after 2025. On 23 February 2022, the band released a new stripped-down version of "Let Somebody Go", and a cover of Kid Cudi's 2008 single "Day 'n' Nite". Both songs were part of their Spotify Singles release.

Musical style[change | change source]

Coldplay's musical style has been defined as alternative rock, being compared to Radiohead and Oasis.[95][96] Lead singer Chris Martin once proclaimed the band's music as "limestone rock".[97] The band's music has been called "meditative" and "blue romantic"; it "reflects on their emotions" and Martin "endlessly examines his feelings".[98] Martin's lyrical wordplay has been called feminist, similar to Andrew Montgomery of Geneva.[96]

The tone of the band's first studio album, Parachutes, was described as melodic pop with "distorted guitar riffs and swishing percussion".[96] It was also described as being "exquisitely dark and artistically abrasive".[96] In a review for A Rush of Blood to the Head, the songs were considered to contain "lush melodies and a heartbreak" and that they had a "newfound confidence."[99] The music on X&Y has been considered to be "ruminations on Martin's doubts, fears, hopes, and loves."[98] Coldplay acknowledge the Scottish alternative rock band, Travis, as a major influence on their earlier material.[100]

In Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the group's style was moving towards art rock, experimenting with different instruments such as tack pianos, and even what Will Champion described as a "very crude" variant of Spanish flamenco clapping.[101] Prospekt's March moved towards a more conservative style but maintained some of their experimental styles from the previous album.[102]

Coldplay's musical style and image has also been satirically described as "bland", with its members representing the "faces of radical beige" (a neutral color). University College London's satirical newspaper, The Cheese Grater, featured a mock article in February 2010, following the arrest of UCL student Abdulmutallab on charges of terrorism, in which they declared that "Bland, middle class rock band was not monitored, admits University College. Were Coldplay made 'radically ...' at UCL?"[103]

Activism and commercial endorsements[change | change source]

Make Trade Fair, MTF for short, shown on Chris Martin's piano during a concert.

Despite Coldplay's worldwide popularity, the band has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for some product endorsements. In the earlier years, Coldplay turned down multimillion-dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke, and Gap, who wanted to use the songs "Yellow", "Trouble", and "Don't Panic" respectively.[104] According to lead singer, Chris Martin, "We wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs' meanings like that."[104] The song "Viva la Vida" was featured in a commercial for the iTunes Store, advertising its exclusive availability of the single as a digital download on iTunes.[105] Additionally, Chris Martin appeared at an Apple Inc. Special Event on 1 September 2010, playing a number of songs, and also thanked Apple for their assistance in marketing "Viva la Vida".[106] Coldplay supports Amnesty International.[107] Martin is regarded as one of the most visible celebrity advocates for fair trade, supporting Oxfam's ongoing Make Trade Fair campaign.[108] He has been on trips with Oxfam to assess conditions, has appeared in its advertising campaign, and is known for wearing a "Make Trade Fair" wristband during public appearances (including at Coldplay concerts).[109] The band were also filmed for Make Poverty History, clicking their fingers.

During the early years, Coldplay became widely known in the media for giving 10 percent of the band's profits to charity,[110] which they continue to do.[111] Bass guitarist Guy Berryman said, "You can make people aware of issues. It isn't very much effort for us at all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it."[107] The band also asks that any gifts intended for them are donated to charity, according to a response on the FAQ section of Coldplay's website. Martin spoke out against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and endorsed the United States Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry[112] and Barack Obama in 2004 and 2008 respectively.[113]

In June 2009, Coldplay began supporting Meat Free Monday, a food campaign started by Paul McCartney which attempts to help slow climate change by having at least one meat free day a week.[114]

From 17-31 December 2009, Coldplay auctioned a quantity of significant band memorabilia, including their first guitars. Proceeds went to Kids Company, a charity which helps vulnerable children and young people in London.[115] A month later in January 2010, Coldplay performed a slightly modified version of "A Message", entitled "A Message 2010", at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon special, raising money for the victims of the Haitian Earthquake.[116]

Band members[change | change source]

First Name Last Name Instrument Birth Date Country
Chris Martin lead vocals, piano, guitar 03/02/1977 United Kingdom
Jonny Buckland guitar 09/11/1977 United Kingdom
Guy Berryman bass guitar 04/12/1978 United Kingdom
Will Champion drums 07/31/1978 United Kingdom

Discography[change | change source]

Albums[change | change source]

Singles[change | change source]

Year Title Album
1999 "Brothers & Sisters" non-album single
2000 "Shiver" Parachutes
2001 "Don't Panic"
2002 "In My Place" A Rush of Blood to the Head
"The Scientist"
2003 "Clocks"
"God Put a Smile upon Your Face"
2005 "Speed of Sound" X&Y
"Fix You"
2006 "The Hardest Part"
2008 "Violet Hill" Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
"Viva la Vida"
"Lost!" (solo or featuring Jay-Z)
2009 "Life in Technicolor II" Prospekt's March
"Strawberry Swings" Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
2010 "Christmas Lights" non-album single
2011 "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" Mylo Xyloto
2012 "Charlie Brown"
"Princess of China" (with Rihanna)
"Hurts Like Heaven"
2013 "Altas" The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack
2014 "Magic" Ghost Stories
"A Sky Full of Stars"
"True Love"
2015 "Adventure of a Lifetime" A Head Full of Dreams
2016 "Hymn for the Weekend"
"A Head Full of Dreams"
2017 "Something Just Like This" (with The Chainsmokers) Memories...Do Not Open and Kaleidoscope EP
"Miracles (Someone Special)" (with Big Sean) Kaleidoscope EP
2019 "Orphans" / "Arabesque" Everyday Life
2021 "Higher Power" Music of the Spheres
"My Universe" (with BTS)
2022 "Let Somebody Go" (with Selena Gomez)

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Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]