Kings of Leon, an American rock band formed in the year 1999, in Nashville, Tennessee, consists of brothers Caleb Followill, Nathan Followill, Jared Followill, and their cousin Matthew Followill. Here are some interesting facts about the world famous band:
The fourth studio album "Only by the Night," released on September 19, 2008, was awarded the Best International Album, in the 2009 Brit Awards, 2009 Meteor Awards, 2009 NME Awards and 2010 Juno Awards.
The band's first album "Youth and Young Manhood," was a huge hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 3. The Rolling Stone Critics named it the 10th-best album of the year, while NME named it as the seventh-best. However, in the band's homeland, the album peaked outside the top hundred.
All the members of the band go by their middle names. Their real names are - Singer Anthony "Caleb" Followill, drummer Ivan "Nathan" Followill, guitarist Cameron "Matthew" Followill and bassist Michael "Jared" Followill.
When the band released their debut EP "Holy Roller Novocaine," in the year 2003, the little brother Jared was only 16, and didn't even know to play bass.
"Use Somebody," the second single from their fourth studio album "Only by the Night," has earned the band the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song. The song had been covered by more artists such as One Direction, Paramore, Bat for Lashes, Kelly Clarkson.
On March 14, 2009, Kings of Leon performed at Melbourne Cricket Ground's Sound Relief, a benefit concert to raise funds for those affected by the February 2009 Victorian bushfires. Out of respect for the bushfire victims, the band chose not to perform the most popular hit "Sex on Fire."
Initially, it was only Nathan and Caleb, who relocated outside Nashville. They met songwriter Angelo Petraglia, who not only introduced them to major musical influences, but also helped them in honing their songwriting skills. However, in 1999, when their brother Jared and cousin Matthew moved with them, Kings of Leon was formed.
The band hid a group picture of the four Followill boys, taken in their childhood, in the plastic case of the disc of their second album "Aha Shake Heartbreak."
The most popular single "Sex on Fire," from the album "Only by the Night," has spent a total of 90 weeks in the official UK Top 75 chart. "Sex on Fire," is till date the third longest runner of all time in the history of UK Top 75 chart.
Their seventh studio album "WALLS" - "We Are Like Love Songs," released on October 14, 2016, was the band's first album to have earned them the #1 position on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
As teenagers, the boys threw parties at their dad - Ivan Leon Followill's house. When their father deemed that the party was over, he would put jalapenos in the microwave. The fumes would burn peoples' eyes making them vacate the premises.
While headlining the Slane Castle Festival in Ireland, during their tour to promote their fifth album "Came Around Sundown," the band informed the death of their uncle Cleo. The tour was cancelled on August 1, 2011 with no reschedules.
Initially RCA Records wanted to make the band only with Caleb and Nathan. The company insisted on picking a backing group for them. However, both the brothers insisted on bringing in their little brother Jared, and cousin Matthew.
Their second album "Aha Shake Heartbreak," was certified 2x Platinum in Australia on the January 12, 2009. The album was also listed at #39 in the Rolling Stone's list of "Top 100 Albums of the Decade."
In the year 2014, the band had to cut their tour promoting their album "Mechanical Bull" short, due to their fan. It was reported that Nathan was injured in an accident, when a crazed fan "jumped in front of" their tour bus.
In the year 2009, the band founded Serpents and Snakes Records, a record label that includes bands such as The Features, Snowden, Turbo Fruits, and The Weeks.
The boys were occasionally enlisted to play the drums, while they attended services when their father preached at churches and tent revivals throughout Oklahoma and the Deep South.
The Kings' first gig ever was at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta, opening up for the Skeeters and the outlaw country star Billie Joe Shaver.
Their sixth album "Mechanical Bull," released on September 24, 2013, debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, based on 110,000 copies sold in its first week. However, in the UK, the album peaked at #1 on the Albums Chart, with a total of 71,000 copies sold in first week.
The band named their debut album "Youth and Young Manhood," after a drawing of the family tree of Moses, found on the inside of one of their Pentecostal preaching father's Bibles. The members claimed that each branch had a line that could have easily passed for an album title, but it was "Youth and Young Manhood," which seemed fitting.
In the year 2009, their third studio album "Because of the Times," was named by the Clash magazine as #3 on the "Clash Essential 50," which is a list of most important albums released since the inception of the magazine in 2004.
The song "Use Somebody," which peaked at #2 on the official UK Top 75 chart, spent a total of 40 unbroken weeks, and dropped out only for just a week, due to surge in Michael Jackson titles following his week. Till date, it has spent over 77 weeks, making it the 5th longest runner of all time.
The brothers' childhood was mostly spent driving through the southern United States in a purple 1988 Oldsmobile, while camping for a week if their father was scheduled to preach. In their entire childhood, they had settled only for a five year period in Jackson, Tennessee.
The band's fourth album "Only by the Night," with a worldwide sales exceeding 6.2 million, has spent 104 weeks on the Germany's Albums Chart, becoming the 50th album to spend two years or longer on that chart.
The Followills' another cousin, who goes by the name Nacho, is also reportedly the band's payroll, as Kings of Leon's tour technician, who joins them when the band hits the road.
The band's most famous "Sex on Fire," the first single from their fourth album "Only by the Night," was actually about the world renowned model Lily Aldridge, who was the lead singer Caleb's then-girlfriend. Initially, the band tried some lyrics like "Socks on Fire," "snatch on Fire," and even "Cooks on Fire." However, the band never intended the song to be named "Sex on Fire."
During a concert in Dallax, Texas on July 27, 2011, Caleb was reportedly drunk to the extent that he slurred incomprehensibly between songs, and even went on to ramble about nothing. He left the stage claiming he has to vomit and that he will be back to play three more songs, but did not return. The rest of the tour apologized and cut the concert short abruptly.
The Followills' actually named the band as "Kings of Leon," after their grandfather - Leon, a Pentacostal minister, in an effort to pay homage to their family ties. Their grandfather passed away in January 2014.
The famous single "Use Somebody," became the fourth song in history to top the Mainstream Top 40, Adult Top 40, Alternative Songs, and Triple A charts.
Their debut album "Youth and Young Manhood," was ranked at #80 in Rolling Stone's list of "Top 100 Albums of the Decade." The album also successfully made it to the book "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die."