Imagine Dragons

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Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons in 2017
Imagine Dragons in 2017
Background information
Also known asRagged Insomnia
OriginLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Genres
Years active2008–present
Labels
Members
Past member(s)
Websiteimaginedragonsmusic.com

Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Its members are its lead singer Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman.[1] The band first got attention for its single "It's Time". This was followed by its award-winning debut studio album Night Visions (2012). This album had two of its chart-topping singles "Radioactive" and "Demons". Rolling Stone named "Radioactive" the "biggest rock hit of the year" after it held the record for most weeks charted on the Billboard Hot 100.[2][3][4][5] MTV called them "the year's biggest breakout band",[6] and Billboard said they were their "Breakthrough Band of 2013" and "Biggest Band of 2017".[7] Billboard put them at the top of their "Year of Rock" rankings for 2013,[8] 2017,[9] and 2018.[10] Imagine Dragons topped the Billboard Year-End "Top Artists – Duo/Group" category in 2018.[11]

The band's second studio album Smoke + Mirrors (2015) got to number one in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.[12][13] Next they released their third album Evolve (2017). This album had three chart-topping singles, "Believer", "Thunder", and "Whatever it Takes". This helped them become the artist with the most weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. The album reached the top five in many countries.[14] The band's fourth album Origins (2018) included the song "Natural". "Natural" became their fifth song to top the Hot Rock Songs chart. The band released their fifth album Mercury – Act 1 on September 3, 2021 and its follow-up Mercury – Act 2 on July 1, 2022.

Imagine Dragons has won three American Music Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, one Grammy Award, one MTV Video Music Award, and one World Music Award. In May 2014, the band was nominated for 14 Billboard Music Awards. These include Top Artist of the Year and a Milestone Award. In April 2018, the band was nominated 11 more times for Billboard Music Awards.[15]

Imagine Dragons has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. This makes them one of the world's best-selling music artists.[16] They were the most streamed group of 2018 on Spotify[17] and are the first rock act to have four songs, "Radioactive", "Demons", "Believer", and "Thunder", to have over one billion streams each.[18] According to Billboard, "Believer", "Thunder", and "Radioactive" were the three best performing rock songs of the 2010s.[19]

History[change | change source]

2008–2011: Early years[change | change source]

In 2008, lead singer Dan Reynolds met drummer Andrew Tolman at Brigham Young University, where they were both students.[20] Reynolds and Tolman recruited Andrew Beck, Dave Lemke, and Aurora Florence to play guitar, bass, and piano respectively for their band. Their name is an anagram for a phrase only known to members of the group, which Reynolds said each member approved of.[21] The five released an extended play called Speak to Me that year. However, Beck and Florence left the band later that year. In 2009, Tolman recruited long-time high school friend Wayne Sermon to play guitar. Sermon had graduated from Berklee College of Music. Tolman later recruited his wife, Brittany Tolman, to sing back-up and play keys and the band began to play again. Lemke left the band later on, so Sermon recruited Ben McKee to join the band as their bassist.[22][23] The band got a large following in their hometown of Provo, Utah before they moved to Las Vegas, where the band recorded and released their first three extended plays.[24]

The band released a self-titled extended play Imagine Dragons on September 1, 2009, and Hell and Silence on March 10, 2010, both recorded at Battle Born Studios, in Las Vegas.[25][26][27] They released their third extended play, It's Time on March 12, 2011. Six months later, they signed a record deal with Interscope Records on November 18, 2011.[28]

They got their first big break when Train's frontman Pat Monahan fell sick just prior to the Bite of Las Vegas Festival 2009. Imagine Dragons was called to fill in and performed to a crowd of more than 26,000 people.[29] Local accolades including "Best CD of 2011" (Vegas SEVEN),[30] "Best Local Indie Band 2010" (Las Vegas Weekly),[31] "Las Vegas' Newest Must See Live Act" (Las Vegas CityLife),[32] Vegas Music Summit Headliner 2010,[33] and more sent the band higher in popularity. In November 2011, they began working with English Grammy Award-winning producer Alex da Kid.[34] Eventually, the Tolmans left the group. Daniel Platzman and keyboardist Theresa Flaminio were recruited by Ben McKee in August 2011, before the band's label deal in November 2011.[35]

2012–2014: Night Visions[change | change source]

Theresa Flaminio left Imagine Dragons in early 2012, leaving them as a quartet. The band worked with Alex da Kid. They recorded their first major-label release at Westlake Recording Studios in West Hollywood, California with him. An extended play called Continued Silence was released on Valentine's Day (February 14, 2012) digitally and got to number 40 on the Billboard 200. The band also released an extended play called Hear Me in 2012.

Shortly after, "It's Time" was released as a single and got to number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.[36] The music video debuted on April 17, 2012, on all MTV services and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the "Best Rock Video" category.[37] "It's Time" was made a 6× platinum single by the RIAA.[38]

The band finished recording their debut album Night Visions in the summer of 2012 at Studio X inside Palms Casino Resort and released the album in the United States on September 4, 2012. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of more than 83,000 copies, the highest charting for a debut rock album since 2006.[39] The album also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative and Rock Album charts and the top ten on the Australian, Austrian, Canadian, Dutch, German, Irish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Scottish, Spanish, and United Kingdom Albums charts. It won a Billboard Music Award for Top Rock Album and was nominated for the Juno Award for International Album of the Year.[40] Night Visions is certified platinum in the US by the RIAA as well as in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. The album had three songs that got to the Billboard Top 40, four songs in the ARIA Top 40, and five songs in the UK Top 40.

The band at the Night Visions Tour in 2013.

The album's second single "Radioactive" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs, Billboard Rock Songs, and Swedish singles chart and has sold more than 14 million singles in the United States, going into the top 3 of the most selling songs digitally ever.[41] It also beat the record of the longest song on the Billboard Hot 100 by spending 87 weeks before being broken by The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" in 2021.[42] "Radioactive" stayed at No. 1 on the Hot Rock Songs chart for a record-breaking 23 weeks and became the genre's biggest hit of 2013.[43] It peaked at No. 3, becoming their first top ten single in the United States and broke the record for the longest run into the top five. It is the best-selling rock song on the Nielsen SoundScan running list of best-selling rock songs in digital history.[44] By the end of 2013, "Radioactive" had already sold over 3 million copies.[45] Rolling Stone called it "the biggest rock hit of the year". It was also the most streamed song of 2013 on Spotify in the United States.[46] It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. It won the Grammy Award for Best Rock performance.

Third single "Demons" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Songs, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 61 weeks on it.[38][47] In 2021, RIAA said that the song has become the band's third diamond selling song in the US.[41]

Fourth single "On Top Of The World" reached No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also spent 20 weeks on the chart.[41]

In the US, the non-singles off the album, "Bleeding Out" and "Amsterdam" were certified platinum while "Hear Me" and "Tiptoe" were certified gold.[41]

Billboard listed them as one of "2012's Brightest New Stars" and later "The Breakout Band of 2013".[48] Imagine Dragons won the 2014 Billboard Music Awards for Top Duo/Group, Top Hot 100 Artist, and Top Rock Artist. Amazon.com called the band their "Favorite Rock Artist of 2012".[49]

In 2013, Imagine Dragons went back to Europe and North America with the Night Visions Tour.[50] The band announced 13 more US summer tour dates which also sold out.[51] The band then announced a North America Amphitheatre tour.[52]

The band released a live album, Live at Independent Records, in April 2013.[53]

2014–2016: Smoke + Mirrors[change | change source]

Imagine Dragons at Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., on the Smoke + Mirrors tour in July 2015

The idea behind the second album was to create music and finish it when the band feels that their work is done.[54] Since the beginning of the Night Visions Tour, the band had been writing new material for the next album. Even as early as the start of the tour they had been recording demos for the album.[55] By the time that they went into the studio to work on the album, they had created 50 demos to work from.[56]

Before the album's release, Imagine Dragons released a number of singles for other projects including a song for the film Transformers: Age of Extinction, called "Battle Cry" (June 2014) and “Warriors" for the 2014 League of Legends World Championship (September 2014).[57]

On October 24, they showed the lead single to the upcoming album, "I Bet My Life" on Facebook and Instagram. It was released on October 27.[58] It was sent to US Alternative radio for ads on November 3.[59] On December 16, the band announced their second album Smoke + Mirrors and the release of its second single "Gold". "Shots" was released as the album's third single on January 26, 2015.

Imagine Dragons played at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles on February 5, 2015. The half-hour set included the live debut of unreleased songs "Summer" and "I'm So Sorry". On February 8, the band partnered with Target for a performance of "Shots" as part of a live commercial during the Grammy Awards.  Smoke + Mirrors was released on February 17. The album debuted on top of the Billboard 200, making it the band's first number one album. The band began a world tour on June 3 in Portland, Oregon.

During the band's tour, Imagine Dragons released two non-album singles. "Roots" was released on August 26, 2015, and "I Was Me" on October 12, 2015, on iTunes. The band also released a cover of "I Love You All the Time" by Eagles of Death Metal on December 18, 2015, in support of the victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks. The Smoke + Mirrors Tour ended on February 5, 2016, in Amsterdam.

They released the soundtracks songs "Not Today" from Me Before You and "Sucker for Pain" from Suicide Squad with Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Ty Dolla Sign, and X Ambassadors in April and June, respectively.

2016–2020: Evolve and Origins[change | change source]

Imagine Dragons performing at Mohegan Sun during the Evolve tour in November 2017.

Imagine Dragons began recording their third album in September 2016. The band teased the upcoming album by posting cryptic messages on their Twitter account for the next four months. They released the song "Levitate", recorded for the film Passengers, on December 2, 2016. On January 28, 2017, the band started posting a series of videos teasing the album's first single.[60] The time-lapse videos featured lead singer Dan Reynolds drawing surreal images on a drawing pad. Morse code was hidden in the videos and translated to "objects of same color".

On February 1, 2017, Imagine Dragons released "Believer" as the lead single for their next album. "Believer" was used as part of a Super Bowl ad for the Nintendo Switch.[61] On April 27, 2017, the band released "Thunder" as the second single from their third album.[62] On May 8, 2017, Imagine Dragons announced their third studio album Evolve, as well as a new track "Whatever It Takes", which was released on the same day.[63] A tour in support for the album was also announced within the same day. The tour was held across 33 countries from September 2017 through September 2018.

Evolve was released on June 23, 2017, worldwide. The album reached the top five in most countries but was met with mixed critical responses. The album and the single "Thunder" received nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, respectively, at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. "Whatever It Takes" was released as an official single off the album a few months later on October 6, 2017.[64] The song won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 2018. On February 14, 2018, Imagine Dragons announced a new single titled "Next to Me" on Twitter. The song was released as part of a re-issue of Evolve on February 21, 2018.[65]

On June 12, 2018, Imagine Dragons announced a new single with Kygo called "Born to Be Yours" on Twitter. The song was released on June 15, 2018.[66] In 2018, Imagine Dragons also became co-owners of esports team Rogue.[67]

On July 12, 2018, Imagine Dragons announced a new single named "Natural" on Twitter. The song was released on July 17, 2018.[68] The song was used as the anthem for the 2018 ESPN College Football season.[69] The band ended the Evolve tour in Tampa, Florida on August 10. On September 18, 2018, Imagine Dragons announced a new single titled "Zero", which was released the following day. It was used in the end credits of the Walt Disney Animation Studios movie Ralph Breaks the Internet.[70]

On October 3, 2018, Imagine Dragons announced their fourth studio album, Origins, which was released on November 9, 2018. "Natural" and "Zero" serve as the lead singles off the album, while "Born to Be Yours" is featured on the international deluxe edition of the album. The band has said that this album was made as a sister album to Evolve.[71] On October 31, 2018, Imagine Dragons released the third single off the album, "Machine".[72] Lastly, on November 6, 2018, Imagine Dragons released the album's fourth single, "Bad Liar".[73] Origins debuted at number two in the US, making it their fourth top five album. It reached the top ten in multiple countries, but received mixed reviews from critics.

On January 7, 2019, Imagine Dragons performed the halftime show for the 2019 College Football Championship game. The band performed "Natural", "Bad Liar", "Thunder", and a special version of "Believer" with rapper Lil Wayne. The new version of the song was released on streaming platforms the following day.[74]

In June 2019, Beat Games released a paid downloadable content (DLC) music pack for virtual reality rhythm game Beat Saber, called "Imagine Dragons Music Pack", that includes ten songs by Imagine Dragons.[75][76]

On June 20, 2019, Imagine Dragons released a new version "Birds", featuring Italian singer Elisa, as the fifth and final single from Origins.[77] On July 23, 2019, an animated video for the original version of the song was released.[78]

On January 20, 2020, the band released a music video for "Nothing Left to Say", a song from their debut album Night Visions.[79]

2021–present: Mercury – Acts 1 & 2[change | change source]

On March 8, 2021, Imagine Dragons announced the release of two singles, "Follow You" and "Cutthroat", which were released on March 12.[80][81] The band began teasing their upcoming album which was produced by Rick Rubin. On June 29, 2021, the band announced the single "Wrecked", along with the pre-order for their fifth studio album Mercury – Act 1 a day later.[81] The song was released on July 2, 2021.[81] Mercury – Act 1 was released on September 3, along with the single "Monday". Similar to their previous work, the album was met with mixed critical reception. It debuted at number nine in the US.

In October, the band re-released their first three extended plays onto streaming services and digital retailers. Each EP features a previously unreleased bonus track. The band also released the single "Enemy" featuring rapper JID, as part of the soundtrack to the Netflix series Arcane, on October 28. It is the second collaboration between Imagine Dragons and League of Legends, following "Warriors".[source?]

Soon after the release of Mercury – Act 1, the band began teasing a follow-up album that would also be produced by Rubin. In January 2022, Reynolds said that the album was "almost done" and would be released after the first part of the Mercury Tour. The tour started on February 6 in Miami and ended on September 15 in Los Angeles. On March 11, 2022, the band released a single named "Bones". It was the lead single for their album Mercury – Act 2.[82] On April 6, the band announced that Mercury – Act 2 would be released on July 1, 2022. The 18-track album was released as part of an album that had both Mercury albums.[83]

Band members[change | change source]

Timeline[change | change source]

Discography[change | change source]

Tours[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

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