Aerosmith is an American rock band formed in Boston in 1970. The group consists of Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar, vocals), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums) and Brad Whitford (guitar). Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop rock, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They are sometimes referred to as “the Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”. The primary songwriting team of Tyler and Perry is often known as the “Toxic Twins”.
Perry and Hamilton, originally in a band called the Jam Band, met up with Tyler, Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith; in 1971, Tabano was replaced by Whitford. Beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album and 1974’s Get Your Wings they released a string of multi-platinum selling albums. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic and its 1976 follow-up Rocks. Draw the Line and Night in the Ruts followed in 1977 and 1979 respectively. Throughout the 1970s, the band toured extensively and had such hits as their first Top 40 hit “Sweet Emotion” and the Top 10 hits “Dream On” and “Walk This Way”. By the end of the decade, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. Drug addiction and internal conflict led to the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981. The band did not fare well as their album Rock in a Hard Place failed to match their previous successes.
Perry and Whitford returned to Aerosmith in 1984 and the band recorded Done with Mirrors (1985), which failed to match commercial expectations. It was not until the band’s collaboration with rap group Run–D.M.C. in 1986, and the 1987 multi-platinum release, Permanent Vacation, that they regained their previous level of popularity. In the late 1980s and 1990s, they won numerous awards for the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989), Get a Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997). Their biggest hit singles (all of which reached the Top 20) during this time included “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”, “Angel”, “Rag Doll”, “Love in an Elevator”, “Janie’s Got a Gun”, “What it Takes”, “Livin’ on the Edge”, “Cryin'”, and “Crazy”. In 1998, they achieved their first number-one hit with “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon’s soundtrack and the following year, their own roller coaster attraction opened at Walt Disney World. Their comeback has been described as one of the most spectacular in rock history. In 2002, they released Just Push Play (which included the Top 10 hit “Jaded”) and in 2008, they released Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which is considered to be the best-selling band-centric video game. After five decades of performing, the band continues to tour and record music. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the band had an ongoing concert residency in Las Vegas and was scheduled to tour Europe.
Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records in the United States. With 18 platinum and 12 multi-platinum albums, they are tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American band. They have twenty-one Top 40 hits on the US Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were ranked number 57 and 30, respectively, on Rolling Stone’s and VH1’s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2013, Tyler and Perry were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2020, the band received the MusiCares Person of the Year award.
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