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Sin City’s boundary-blurring alt-rockers
Known for their catchy electro-tinged music, dramatic videos and energetic live performances, Imagine Dragons emerged not long after another Las Vegas band of note, global superstars The Killers, paved the way.
Consisting of Sin City native and frontman Dan Reynolds, bassist Ben McKee, guitarist Wayne Sermon and drummer Daniel Platzman, the name Imagine Dragons is an anagram of what they originally intended to call the band – and have never revealed what that was.
Formed in 2008 in Utah, while Reynolds was studying at Brigham Young University, the group’s initial line-up recorded the EP Speak To Me and built a loyal following in Provo.
Looking to grow, they moved to Reynolds’ hometown of Las Vegas in 2009, released their eponymous EP and lucked into a spot vacated by Train performing at the annual Bite Of Las Vegas Festival. Imagine Dragons’ popularity increased over the next two years as they unveiled two more EPs – Hell And Silence and It’s Time – plus cut their chops playing in downtown’s Beauty Bar and Hennessey’s Tavern as well as at the original O’Sheas Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
In late 2011, Imagine Dragons were signed to Interscope Records. Their first major label EP Continued Silence arrived in early 2012, about six months ahead of their debut studio album Night Visions, which peaked at No.2 on the UK albums chart. Both collections contained the huge hit Radioactive that led to two Grammy nominations in 2014, with Imagine Dragons winning for Best Rock Performance.
At the end of 2014, the band recorded Battle Cry for the film Transformers: Age Of Extinction. When their second album Smoke + Mirrors came out in 2015, they scored their first UK No.1. It boasted the top 40 single I Bet My Life, while the song Friction was featured in a trailer for Mission: Impossible – Fallout. In 2016, the four-piece also recorded Not Today for the film Me Before You and Levitate for the sci-fi movie Passengers.
Following 18 months on the road with their worldwide Smoke + Mirrors Tour, the group’s third album Evolve came out in 2017 and not only reached No.5 on the UK albums chart but also spawned three chart-topping singles: Believer, Thunder and Whatever It Takes.
A year later Imagine Dragons conceived Origins, a sister album to Evolve, that was preceded by the singles Natural and Zero. By late 2019, Reynolds announced he wanted to take a break from music to focus on fatherhood.
In March 2021, Imagine Dragons returned with two new singles, Follow You and Cutthroat.