Maroon 5

Maroon 5
Maroon 5

Maroon 5 in concert, August 25, 2004
Background information
Also known as Kara's Flowers
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Pop rock, funk rock,alternative rock
Years active 1994–1998 (as Kara's Flowers)
2000–present (as Maroon 5)
Labels A&M/Octone
Associated acts Phantom Planet, Operation Aloha, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Mac Miller
Adam Levine
Jesse Carmichael
Michael Madden
James Valentine
Matt Flynn
Past members
Ryan Dusick
Official Maroon 5 logo

Maroon 5 is an American pop rock[1][2][3] band from Los Angeles, California. While they were in high school, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Adam Levine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bass guitarist Mickey Madden, and drummer Ryan Dusick formed a garage band called Kara's Flowers and released one album in 1997. After a brief period they re-formed with guitarist James Valentine, and pursued a new direction as Maroon 5. The following year they released their debut album Songs About Jane, which contained four hit singles: "Harder to Breathe", "This Love", "She Will Be Loved" and "Sunday Morning"; it also enjoyed major chart success, going gold, platinum, and triple platinum in many countries around the world.[4]

In support of Songs About Jane, Maroon 5 toured extensively throughout 2003–2005, during which time two live albums were released. The band won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2005. Dusick left the band in September 2006, citing injuries sustained by constant touring, and was replaced by Matt Flynn. Maroon 5's second studio album It Won't Be Soon Before Long was released in 2007, with the singles "Makes Me Wonder", "Won't Go Home Without You" and "Wake Up Call". The band performed live in two tours between June and November 2007, during which time a compilation of previously unreleased songs, The B-Side Collection, was released.

Two more live albums and a remix album were issued in 2008. Maroon 5's third studio album Hands All Over was released in the United States on September 21, 2010. Since debuting in 2002, the band has sold over 10 million albums in the United States and nearly 15 million worldwide.


Kara's Flowers and formation of Maroon 5 (1992–2002)

The four original members of Maroon 5 have known each other since attending Brentwood School together in Los Angeles.[5][6] While attending Brentwood School, Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael joined up with Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick to form Kara's Flowers,[7] a garage/grunge band. The name was taken from a girl that the band had a "collective crush" on.[6] The band played its first gig at Whisky a Go Go on September 16, 1995. While they were playing a beach party in Malibu, indie producer Tommy Allen heard them play and offered to manage them and record a complete record with his partner, songwriter John DeNicola (Dirty Dancing ). While shopping for a deal for the band, Bob Cavallo's management team heard the record Allen and DeNicola produced, which eventually led to their deal with Reprise Records and producer Rob Cavallo.[8] Very early on, their sound was what Carmichael called "Fugazi [the sound] meets Sesame Street [the lyrics]". However, by the release of The Fourth World in 1996, they had morphed into band reminiscent of 1960s Britpop.[6] Despite high expectations from the band and record company, the album failed to catch on and their lead single, "Soap Disco", was a failure.[9] According to Levine, the failure of the album was "a huge disappointment" that nearly led them to break up in 1998.[6][10] The album sold around 5,000 copies and they were dropped after only six months.[11]

Levine and Carmichael went to college at Five Towns College in Long Island, New York, while Madden and Dusick stayed home in L.A., and attended a term of college at UCLA.[10] At Five Towns College, Levine and Carmichael were exposed for the first time to the gospel, hip-hop and R&B of their largely African-American schoolmates.[12] Levine credits the period with informing the band's new style stating:

I spent a lot of time in New York where I was exposed to an urban and hip-hop culture in a way that had never happened to me in L.A. It turned me on to an entirely new genre of music which has had a profound impact on my songwriting.[13]

When the two returned in 2000, they brought those influences with them.[10] Sam Farrar (bassist of the band Phantom Planet, which is currently on hiatus, and former roommate of Levine and Valentine) says that the Aaliyah song "Are You That Somebody?" affected the band and influenced the song "Not Coming Home."[6] Producer Tim Sommer signed them to a demo deal with MCA records and produced three tracks with them in Los Angeles in the middle of 2000 with Mark Dearnly engineering. Against Sommer's advice, MCA declined to pick up the band, and these tracks were never released. Jordan Feldstein, a friend of Levine's family and a junior agent at ICM, stopped by one of the band's rehearsals and was so surprised by what he heard that he quit his job in order to manage the band full time.[10] The band put together a demo that was rejected by several labels, before falling into the hands of Octone Records executives James Diener, Ben Berkman and David Boxenbaum.[10] While looking for talent for the new Octone label, Berkman was given a bunch of demos by the brother of a former colleague at Columbia Records and the song that caught his attention was "a genius song called 'Sunday Morning'".[11] Berkman was surprised the song was credited to Kara's Flowers because they sounded completely different from the band he had heard while at Warner Brothers.

Berkman encouraged Diener and Boxenbaum to fly out to L.A. to watch a showcase gig at the Viper Room for the four-piece Kara's Flowers. After watching Levine onstage, they were convinced. Berkman told HitQuarters he believed what the band needed was a "fifth member to play the guitar and free up the singer, so he could be the star I perceived him to be." Octone immediately insisted that the band change its name to break with its pop-rock past. Also, the label began looking for a full-time guitarist to enable Levine to focus on performing as the frontman. James Valentine (from the L.A. band Square) was recruited for the job.[10] Even still, the only songs of their repertoire that showcased the band's new direction were "Sunday Morning" and the soon-to-be-written "She Will Be Loved"—neither of which the label approved of as a first single. The band toured for a full year before entering the studio with producer Matt Wallace. Levine's frustration with Berkman's demands for a lead single inspired him to write just that—a song called "Harder to Breathe".The reason for being named "Maroon 5" is a secret that only the band and Billy Joel know.

Songs About Jane and Dusick's departure (2002–2006)

"Between the time that we started making the album [Songs About Jane] in 2001 and the time the album reached the crest of its success in 2004, we went from being starving musicians wondering what the future held to riding a wave of success beyond our wildest expectations."

—Ryan Dusick, Maroon 5's original drummer, who officially left the band in 2006 due to injuries sustained from constant touring[14]

Maroon 5 was constantly on tour, after releasing their album in mid-2002. Their first major tour was the 2002 Jeep World Outside, a "grassroots" summer festival tour with such acts as O.A.R., Ziggy Marley, Train and headliner Sheryl Crow.[15]

Valentine attended Berklee College of Music with John Mayer in 1996, where they developed a rapport. In 2002, the two reconnected at a Mayer radio appearance. After Mayer heard their album, he was so impressed (particularly by "This Love") that he invited them to open for him during his early 2003 tour.[6] The first single "Harder to Breathe" slowly started to pick up airplay which helped spur sales of the album. By March 2004, the album had reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 and "Harder to Breathe" had made the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 in September 2004,[16] 26 months after its release; this was the longest period between an album's release and its initial Top 10 appearance since SoundScan results were included in the Billboard 200 in 1991.[17] Mayer invited the band to open for him again in 2004.[15]

Over the next three years, the band toured virtually non-stop, including visits to seventeen countries. During this time, the band toured with Michelle Branch, Nikka Costa, Vanessa Carlton, Graham Colton, and The Rolling Stones.[18] Others they have toured alongside include Cowboy Mouth, Gavin DeGraw, Matchbox Twenty, Sugar Ray, Counting Crows, Phantom Planet, The Hives, Dashboard Confessional, Big City Rock, The Like, Simon Dawes, Jason Mraz, The Thrills, Thirsty Merc, Marc Broussard, The Donnas, The RedWest, Michael Tolcher and Guster.

Songs About Jane eventually reached #2 on the Australian albums charts,[19] while "Harder to Breathe" made the Top 20 singles charts in the US[20] and UK,[19] and Top 40 in Australia and New Zealand.[19] The album also eventually climbed to #1 in the UK.[19] The second single, "This Love", reached #5 in the US,[20] #3 in the UK, and #8 in Australia.[19] The third single, "She Will Be Loved," reached the Top 5 in both the US[20] and the UK, and went to #1 in Australia.[19] The fourth single, "Sunday Morning," reached the Top 40 in the US,[20] UK, and Australia.[19]

Maroon 5 also played Live 8, in Philadelphia in 2005. Their set included a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" and frontman Levine performed with one of his heroes, and the closing act, Stevie Wonder.[21] On May 13, 2005, in Santa Barbara, California, the band wrapped up the Honda Civic Tour, which they headlined.[22] On June 9, 2005, the band performed at the American Film Institute's tribute to filmmaker George Lucas. Lucas himself had selected Maroon 5 for the event, as they were his children's favorite band at the time.[23]

Over the years of touring with the band, percussionist and back-up vocalist Ryan Dusick had been suffering from the touring life.[24] The strains of non-stop touring aggravated an old sports injury.[5] After several absences from the tour with Ryland Steen and Josh Day taking his place, Dusick officially left Maroon 5 in September 2006. Matt Flynn, the former drummer of Gavin DeGraw and The B-52's, joined the band as Dusick's replacement.[25]

It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2006–2008)

Maroon 5 lead vocalist Adam Levine performing in August 2007

After recording for most of 2006, in May 2007, Maroon 5's second album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, was released worldwide by A&M/Octone Records.[26] According to Levine, the follow-up to Songs About Jane is "sexier and stronger",[27] gaining inspiration from iconic 80s artists such as Prince, Shabba Ranks, Michael Jackson and Talking Heads.[28] Before its release, "Makes Me Wonder" was the #1 selling single and video on iTunes.[27] It was also the #1 selling album, with more than 50,000 digital pre-sales.[27] After its release, the album broke iTunes sales records its week of release, selling over 101,000 albums.[29] The first single, "Makes Me Wonder," was released to radio March 27, 2007. The making of the music video was previewed on MTV's Total Request Live, and premiered on the show March 29. The song debuted at number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100, the lowest debuting single of the group's five chart entries. In the first week of May, the single skyrocketed from a lowly position of #64 to #1, the biggest jump in Billboard history at the time.[30] "Makes Me Wonder" has also achieved #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, Pop 100, and Hot Dance Club Play charts.[31]

To support the album, the band performed on a "six-date club tour" in which they visited small venues in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Miami, and New York City in early June 2007.[32] They followed with a concert that streamed live via MSN Music in mid-June.[33] On July 10, they opened for The Police, in Miami,[34] and followed with an acoustic performance at the Miami club, Studio A, the next day.[35] Their 2007 It Won't Be Soon Before Long world tour began September 29 in Detroit and concluded November 10 in Las Vegas.[36] The Hives, as the tour's special guest, performed on all of the dates while Sara Bareilles, Kevin Michael, and Phantom Planet each performed in a portion of the tour.[37] They toured with Dashboard Confessional in their world tour and on March 28, 2008, they began touring with OneRepublic, Brandi Carlile, and Ry Cuming. They have also performed "Makes Me Wonder" on season 6 of American Idol and "If I Never See Your Face Again" on season 7 of American Idol. The re-release of the album featured a new duet version of "If I Never See Your Face Again" with Rihanna; the new version of the song also appeared on the re-release of Rihanna's album Good Girl Gone Bad. They also released as the album's 5th single "Goodnight Goodnight", which appeared in the opening of "CSI:NY" episode Page Turner."

Hands All Over (2010–present)

Levine has stated that he believes the band is reaching its peak and may make one more album before disbanding.[38] He explained "Eventually I want to focus on being a completely different person because I don’t know if I want to do this into my 40s and 50s and beyond, like the Rolling Stones."[39]

Maroon 5's third studio album was recorded in 2009 in Switzerland, where the band were joined by record producer Robert "Mutt" Lange.[40] The album, titled Hands All Over was released on September 21, 2010. The album's first single, "Misery", was released on June 22, 2010. Maroon 5 will tour with Train for the summer of 2011, from July 22 to September 24.[41] Christina Aguilera is featured on Maroon 5's new single "Moves Like Jagger".[42] It premiered live on The Voice June 21, 2011 and reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 2011. Adam Levine was also featured in Gym Class Heroes' song "Stereo Hearts", which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

On September 8, 2011, Jesse stated that the band is likely to begin recording their next album within the year. [43] On October 1 the band performed live at the Rock in Rio concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[44] Maroon 5 was a last hour addition, chosen to fill the vacant spot left by Jay-Z after he cancelled his appearance due to a performance in a poll for bands the audiences wanted to see in the festival.[45]

The band recently launched a Snapple flavor named "Tea Will Be Loved" in support of Feeding America.

Maroon 5 performed "Moves Like Jagger" and "Stereo Hearts" with Travie McCoy on November 5, 2011 on Saturday Night Live.

Band members

Bandmates Jesse Carmichael and Adam Levine in 2007

Ex members

  • Ryan Dusick - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1994 - 2006)


Awards and nominations







  • Grammy Award — Best Pop Performance by A Duo or Group With Vocals "Misery" (Nominated)
  • American Music Awards - Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group (Pending)


  • Peoples Choice Awards - Favorite Band (Pending)
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Grammy Award for Best New Artist
Succeeded by
John Legend


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