Kings of Leon
About Kings of Leon
To some extent, Kings of Leon have been preparing for the rigors of being a touring rock band from birth: Three-fourths of the Nashville group—brothers Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill—had a nomadic childhood, traveling the South with their Pentecostal preacher father. But after linking with guitarist cousin Matthew to form Kings of Leon in 1999, the Followills found yet another advantage to their upbringing: Their natural familial rivalries galvanized their creativity. "There's something that keeps you going and keeps pushing you, especially when you're in a band with your family," Caleb told Apple Music in 2016. "We're very competitive and we push each other." Deemed the Southern Strokes upon the release of their 2003 debut, Youth and Young Manhood, the quartet evolved from swaggering rock 'n' roll to a keyboard-dappled sound on 2008's Only by the Night. They didn’t lose their rough-and-tumble vibe—for proof, check out the brisk, brawny riffs of "Sex on Fire"—but a turn toward delicacy on the yearning ballad "Use Somebody," highlighted by Caleb's world-weary vocals, led them to mainstream success, plus a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2010. Since then, the band has topped Billboard's Alternative charts with evocative singles rooted in soulful pop ("Radioactive") and harmony-heavy rock (the U2-esque "Waste a Moment")—proving once again that forward motion is in Kings of Leon's DNA.