For kings of the medieval Kingdom of León, see List of Leonese monarchs.
Kings of Leon
Kings Of Leon at the Sasquatch! Music Festival at The Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington in 2009.
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genre(s) Alternative rock, garage rock revival, southern rock
Years active 1999–present
Label(s) Sony Music/RCA/Columbia
Kings of Leon is an American alternative rock band that formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999, consisting of brothers Anthony "Caleb" Followill (vocals and guitar), Ivan "Nathan" Followill (drums, percussion and vocals) and Michael "Jared" Followill (bass guitar and vocals), with their cousin Cameron "Matthew" Followill (guitar and vocals). Each member of the family goes by their second name as opposed to their first name. The band's early music was an upbeat blend of southern rock and garage rock influences. As of 2009, Kings of Leon have had nine Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, including a number-one hit with the single "Sex on Fire".
* 1 History
o 1.1 Formation and early years
o 1.2 Youth and Young Manhood: 2003
o 1.3 Aha Shake Heartbreak: 2004-2005
o 1.4 Because of the Times: 2006-2007
o 1.5 Only by the Night: 2008-2009
* 2 Recognition
* 3 Band members
* 4 Discography
* 5 References
* 6 External links
 Formation and early years
The three Followill brothers spent much of their youth traveling around the Southern United States with their father, Ivan "Leon" Followill, a traveling Pentecostal Church preacher and their mother, Betty-Ann, who taught them when they were not in school. Jared and Caleb were born in Tennessee, while Nathan and Matthew were born in Oklahoma. The group's name is derived from Nathan, Caleb, and Jared's father and grandfather, who were both named Leon. It also is a veiled reference to the Kingdom of León, one of the first cities retaken during the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula, which became part of the Kingdom of Asturias in 742 A.D. According to Rolling Stone magazine, "While Leon preached at churches and tent revivals throughout the Deep South, the boys attended services and were occasionally enlisted to bang on some drums. They were home-schooled or enrolled in small parochial schools. Except for a five-year stretch when they settled in Jackson, Tennessee, the Followills spent their childhoods driving through the South in a purple 1988 Oldsmobile, decamping for a week or two wherever Leon was scheduled to preach."
The Followills moved to Nashville with their mother after their parents divorced. While there, they met songwriter Angelo Petraglia, who helped the siblings hone their songwriting skills and introduced them to music by The Rolling Stones, The Clash, and The Velvet Underground.
The band was formed when cousin Matthew and younger brother Jared were asked to join the band, and they subsequently called themselves Kings of Leon, in honor of their father. Their first record, The Holy Roller Novocaine EP was released on February 18, 2003. At this stage, Jared was only 16 years old and had not yet learned to play the bass guitar. The release of Holy Roller Novocaine gave the band a significant amount of exposure prior to the release of their debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, receiving a 4/5 star rating from Rolling Stone Magazine. Four of the five songs would later be released on Youth and Young Manhood, however the versions of "Wasted Time" and "California Waiting" on the EP differ, with the first having a more tense riff and different vocal style than the same track off Youth and Young Manhood, and the latter being recorded in a rush to finish the record. The EP contains the B-side "Wicker Chair" while another track titled "Absent" (rumored to be about Caleb's childhood sweetheart Marnie Jensen), was discarded prior to its release. All the songs released on the EP were co-written by Angelo Petraglia.
 Youth and Young Manhood: 2003
The band's RCA debut album, Youth and Young Manhood was released in the UK in July 2003, and in the United States in August of the same year. The album was recorded between the Sound City Studios in Los Angeles and Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, CA, with producer Ethan Johns (son of producer Glyn Johns who most notably worked with the Rolling Stones and the Eagles).. The album received critical acclaim outside the US in particular, where NME declared it "one of the best debut album of the last 10 years". Following the release of the album the Kings of Leon were chosen to tour with fellow American rock band The Strokes and U2.
 Aha Shake Heartbreak: 2004-2005
The band's second album Aha Shake Heartbreak was released in the United Kingdom in October 2004 and in the United States in February 2005. Building on the southern-infused garage rock of their first album, the album broadened the band's domestic and international audience. "The Bucket", "Four Kicks", and "King of the Rodeo" were all released as singles, with the "The Bucket" rising into the Top 20 in Britain. "Taper Jean Girl" was used in the 2007 movie Disturbia and the movie Cloverfield. The band also garnered accolades from several of their rock peers, including Elvis Costello. The band toured with U2, Pearl Jam and Bob Dylan for much of 2005 and 2006. The album was produced by Angelo Petraglia and Ethan Johns..
 Because of the Times: 2006-2007
Kings of Leon performing at Leeds Festival in Leeds, UK in August 2007
In March 2006, Kings of Leon were back in the studio, working on their third album. Guitarist Matthew Followill told NME: "Man, we're sitting on a bunch of songs right now that we wish we could let the world hear!". The band's third album was titled Because of the Times, which may be a reference to a church ministers conference of the same name held in Alexandria, Louisiana that the brothers often attended.
The album was released on April 2, 2007 in the UK, and a day later in the United States. NME said that the album "cements Kings of Leon as one of the great American bands of our times." and Entertainment Weekly called Because of the Times "an epic wide-screen movie of a CD and the band's best to date." Another reviewer described Because of the Times as, "an accomplished album of unbelievable beauty and familiar, loveable grit. Kings of Leon is maturing wonderfully and with patience, not forcing anything musically or lyrically that doesn’t sound natural." However, some critics found the album inferior to their previous efforts. Stylus Magazine rated it a C- and noted "If they wanted us to take them serious this time around, they'd at least try to be right honest about their ascent into minor celebrity and not keep on with the yokel façade. Without cautionary yarns regarding life on the tour bus or banging supermodels, the bright-eyed, legs-stretched mood of the music rings just as hollow." Dave Hood of Artrocker gave the album one star out of five, finding that "Kings of Leon are experimenting, learning, and getting a bit lost." Pitchfork Media contended that "Because of the Times sound[s] suspiciously like a counterattack on womankind, launched from somewhere in the mid-1990s, deep inside a bruised, stadium-sized ego."
The album debuted at number one in Britain and Ireland and entered the Euro charts at number twenty-five, selling approximately 70,000 copies in its first week of release. The album was preceded by the single "On Call", which became a hit in Britain and Ireland. The album showed a clear evolution from the band's previous work, as the band's trademark dirty, southern-fried swagger was replaced with a more polished, clean-cut sound. Other singles from the album were "Fans" and "Charmer". The album was produced by Angelo Petraglia and Ethan Johns.
 Only by the Night: 2008-2009
After recording throughout most of 2008, "the all American long haired rockers" (The Times), released their fourth studio album Only by the Night on September 19, which subsequently entered the UK Albums Chart at number one and remained there for one more week. Only By The Night also had two single week stints as the UK #1 album in 2009, one directly after the BRIT Awards. In the United States, the album reached number 5 on the Billboard Charts. Reception to the album was the most polarized yet, with the British press granting the album glowing reviews. Q Magazine named Only by the Night "Album of the Year" for 2008. In the United States, reactions to the album were more mixed. Spin, Rolling Stone, and All Music Guide gave the album positive reviews, while Pitchfork Media gave the album a virtual equivalent of 2 stars. The album was officially named as the UK's third biggest selling album of 2008 and the biggest selling album of 2008 in Australia. "Sex on Fire" was the first single released for download in the UK on the 8th of September. The song became their most successful ever as it peaked at number one in the UK and in Ireland. It was also their first song to chart number one on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock chart. The second single to be released from the album on December 8, 2008 was "Use Somebody" which achieved worldwide chart success and consistency, such as in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number two, and also reaching top ten positions in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. The album's popularity in Australia was confirmed with a total of 4 singles being voted into the world's largest online music poll, the "Triple J Hottest 100". The song 'Crawl' came in at number 70, 'Closer' was voted number 24 and 'Use Somebody' finished number 3 in the poll. However, their biggest success from Only By The Night was "Sex on Fire" which was voted number 1 in the Hottest 100 poll for 2008 and number 90 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, 2009 poll. Sex on Fire also won the band a Grammy Award at the 51st Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA on February 8, 2009.
They won Best International Band and Best International Album at the Brit Awards in 2009, where they also performed Use Somebody live. Kings of Leon also performed on 14 March 2009 at Sound Relief, a benefit concert, for the Victorian Bushfire Crisis. The song "Crawl" from this album was released as a free download on the band's website on July 28. The third and fourth singles were "Revelry" and "Notion". Notion peaked at number 24 in Belgium charts and Revelry peaked at number 19 in New Zealand.
In 2009, the band headlined a number of music festivals, including Reading & Leeds, Rock Werchter, Oxegen, T In The Park, Gurtenfestival and Open'er Festival in Europe, along with Sasquatch, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits in the United States. On July 22, 2009, it was revealed that, Only By The Night was certified platinum in the United States by the RIAA for selling one million copies in less than a year after its release.
In 2009, the band won their first Grammy Award for the single "Sex on Fire", as well as two BRIT Awards for "Best International Group" and "Best International Album." The album Only by the Night also won an NME Award for "Album of the Year."
 Band members
* Caleb Followill – vocals, rhythm guitar 
* Nathan Followill – drums, percussion, vocals 
* Jared Followill – bass guitar, vocals, keyboards 
* Matthew Followill – lead guitar, vocals, piano 
Main article: Kings of Leon discography
* Youth and Young Manhood (2003)
* Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004)
* Because of the Times (2007)
* Only by the Night (2008)