After self-releasing their independent album We Like Digging?, the band signed to Reprise Records and released the album The Fourth World in 1997. The album garnered a tepid response, after which the record label dropped the band and the members focused on college. In 2001, the band re-emerged as Maroon 5, pursuing a different direction and adding guitarist Valentine. The band signed with Octone Records, an independent record label with a separate joint venture relationship with J Records and released their debut album Songs About Jane in June 2002. Aided by the singles "Harder to Breathe", "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved", the album peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 chart and went quadruple platinum in 2005. In the same year, the band won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. In 2006, Dusick left the band after suffering from serious wrist and shoulder injuries and was replaced by Matt Flynn.
The band's second album It Won't Be Soon Before Long was released in May 2007. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and the lead single "Makes Me Wonder", became the band's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2010, the band released the third album Hands All Over, to mixed reviews, re-releasing a year later to include the single "Moves like Jagger", which topped the Billboard Hot 100. In 2012, Carmichael left the group and was replaced by musician PJ Morton, as the band released the fourth album Overexposed, with the song "One More Night", topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for nine consecutive weeks.
In 2014, Carmichael rejoined the band alongside Morton to record the fifth album V (roman numeral pronounced "five"), with the band signed to Interscope Records and Levine's own label 222 Records. Following the release of V, it reached number one on the Billboard 200. In 2016, Maroon 5 recruited their long-time collaborator Sam Farrar, as the band continued for the sixth studio album Red Pill Blues, which was released in November 2017. With the addition of Morton and Farrar, the band's lineup increased to seven members. The successful singles of both albums "Sugar" and "Girls Like You" peaked at numbers two and one on the Hot 100 chart respectively. The band's seventh album, Jordi, was released in June 2021. Maroon 5 has sold more than 135 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists.
1994-2001: Kara's Flowers and the formation of Maroon 5
Adam Levine was introduced to Ryan Dusick by a mutual friend and guitarist, Adam Salzman. Levine was 15 years old and Dusick was 16. Three of the five members of the band started playing together at age 12. The four original members of the band met while attending Brentwood School in Los Angeles. While attending Brentwood School, Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael joined up with Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick to form Kara's Flowers, a rock band. The name was taken from a girl that went to their high school that the band had a "collective crush" on. While they were playing a beach party in Malibu, independent producer Tommy Allen heard them play and offered to manage them and record a complete record with his partner, songwriter John DeNicola, who is known for his work on Dirty Dancing (1987) – including "(I've Had) The Time of My Life". Producer Rob Cavallo's management team heard the record Allen and DeNicola produced, which eventually led Cavallo to offer them a deal with Reprise Records, re-recording the album. However, after the release of The Fourth World, during Levine and Madden's senior year of high school in 1997, it had morphed into a band with a style reminiscent of 1960s Britpop. Despite high expectations from the band and record company, the album failed to catch on and their lead single, "Soap Disco", was a failure. According to Levine, the failure of the album was "a huge disappointment" that nearly led them to break up in 1999. The album sold around 5,000 copies and the band was dropped after six months.
When the band returned in 2001, they brought those influences with them.Sam Farrar (bassist of the band Phantom Planet) explained that the Aaliyah song "Are You That Somebody?" affected the band and influenced the song "Not Coming Home". 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 2001, with Mark Dearnley engineering. Against Sommer's advice, MCA declined to pick up the band, and these tracks were never released. 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. While looking for talent for the 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 "'Sunday Morning'" which he referred to as a "genius song". Berkman was surprised the song was credited to Kara's Flowers, because the band sounded completely different from the one he had heard while at Warner Bros. Records.
Berkman encouraged Diener and Boxenbaum to fly out to Los Angeles 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 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. On his joining the band, Valentine commented: "I became friends with them and we sort of started jamming together, it was very much like I was cheating on my band, we were having sort of an affair and I eventually quit my other band to join up with them." After hearing Levine play, Valentine noticed his affinity for Phish and the two musicians bonded over the band.
2002-2006: Songs About Jane and Dusick's departure
Maroon 5 in concert in 2004
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 to his shoulders and wrists sustained from constant touring.
Songs About Jane eventually reached No. 1 on the Australian albums (ARIA), while "Harder to Breathe" made the Top 20 singles charts in the US and UK, and Top 40 in Australia and New Zealand. The album also eventually climbed to number-one in the UK. The second single, "This Love", reached number five in the US, number three in the UK, and number eight in Australia. The third single, "She Will Be Loved", reached the number five in both the US and the UK, and number-one in Australia. The fourth single, "Sunday Morning", reached the Top 40 in the US, UK, and Australia. Maroon 5 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. On May 13, 2005, in Santa Barbara, California, the band wrapped up the 2005 Honda Civic Tour, which it headlined. 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 it was his children's favorite band at the time. Over the years of touring with the band their drummer, percussionist and backing vocalist Ryan Dusick had been suffering from the touring life. The strains of non-stop touring aggravated an old sports injury. After several absences from the tour with Ryland Steen and Josh Day taking his place, Dusick officially left the band in September 2006.Matt Flynn, the former drummer of Gavin DeGraw and The B-52's, joined the band as Dusick's replacement.
After recording for eight months, Maroon 5's second album It Won't Be Soon Before Long, was released worldwide in May 2007 by A&M Octone Records. Levine described the follow-up to Songs About Jane is "sexier and stronger", gaining inspiration from iconic 80s artists such as Prince, Shabba Ranks, Michael Jackson and Talking Heads. Ann Powers writing for Los Angeles Times said It Won't Be Soon Before Long is "An icy-hot blend of electro-funk and blue-eyed soul that works its cruel streak with the confidence of Daniel Craig's James Bond". Before its release, "Makes Me Wonder" was the No. 1 selling single and video on iTunes. It was also the No. 1 selling album, with more than 50,000 digital pre-sales. After its release, the album broke iTunes sales records its week of release, selling over 101,000 copies. The first single "Makes Me Wonder", was released to radio March 27, 2007. 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 No. 64 to No. 1, the biggest jump in Billboard history at the time. "Makes Me Wonder" has also achieved No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs, Pop 100, and Hot Dance Club Play charts. The album's songs "Makes Me Wonder", "Wake Up Call", "If I Never See Your Face Again" and "Nothing Lasts Forever", are featured on the third season of the MTV television series The Hills.
Levine stated that he believed the band was reaching its peak and may make one more album before disbanding. 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". Levine later dispelled any rumors of the band breaking up, saying: "I love what I do and think that, yes, it might be tiring and complicated at times [but] we don't have any plans on disbanding any time soon".
On July 12, 2011, the band re-released the album Hands All Over, just to include their summer hit "Moves like Jagger" featuring Christina Aguilera. The song premiered live on The Voice on June 21 and reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 2011. Frontman Levine was also featured in the Gym Class Heroes' song "Stereo Hearts" from their album The Papercut Chronicles II, which peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The band toured with Train for the 2011 Summer Tour from July to September 2011. On September 8, 2011, Jesse Carmichael stated the band was likely to begin recording its next album within the year. On October 1, 2011, the band performed live at the Rock in Rio concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maroon 5 was a last hour addition, chosen to fill the vacant spot left by Jay-Z after he cancelled his appearance for personal reasons. The band launched a Snapple flavor named "Tea Will Be Loved" in support of Feeding America in September 2011.
On March 9, 2012, Maroon 5 announced that Jesse Carmichael would take a break from performing with the group for an undetermined amount of time to focus more on his studies of "music and the healing arts" and was replaced by a new keyboardist and background vocalist PJ Morton, who had been touring with them since 2010 and who became a full-time band member, as Morton gained little success as an R&B artist.
As Maroon 5 continued to work on their fourth studio album Overexposed, which was released on June 26, 2012. Levine stated that Overexposed is their "most diverse and poppiest album yet". On April 16, Maroon 5 premiered the first single from the album "Payphone", featuring Wiz Khalifa, on the reality competition show The Voice, in which Levine is one of the coaches. "Payphone" debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually peaking at number two. The album's second single "One More Night" was released on June 19, 2012. The song reached number one on the Hot 100, blocking Psy's monster hit "Gangnam Style" from the top spot on the chart for nine consecutive weeks and tied with Carly Rae Jepsen's hit single "Call Me Maybe" for most weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2012.
At the start of their Overexposed Tour in South America, Maroon 5 introduced the newest addition in the band to the audience: their old and close friend Sam Farrar on guitars, occasionally on the bass guitar, percussion, additional keyboards, backing vocals and providing samples and other special effects (using the MPC). Farrar co-wrote and co-produced a few of the band's songs on almost all of their studio albums and also remixed their song "Woman" on Call and Response: The Remix Album, released in 2008 (for the original version from the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack). On August 31, 2012 - during a show in Argentina - Farrar filled-in for Mickey Madden on the bass guitar for the very first time - he subsequently filled-in for Madden on the next few shows of the tour. In July 2012, Maroon 5 began to work on the upcoming fifth studio album, after the commercial success of Overexposed and on October 10, 2012, Jesse Carmichael confirmed that he would be returning to the band after they complete their Overexposed Tour and will rejoin in time to record their fifth studio album.
On November 8, 2012, Maroon 5 performed "Daylight", the third single of the album was debuted on The Voice. To promote the song, the band launched a video project called "The Daylight Project". The project encouraged fans to film their own segments for inclusion in the official music video for "Daylight", that would be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, was released on December 10, 2012. Another video for the song titled "Playing for Change" is directed by Mark Johnson and was released on January 17, 2013. This video includes several street musicians from around the world playing and singing along with the band performing on tour. The song peaked at number seven on the Hot 100 and reached at number one on the Mainstream Top 40, setting a record for the most number ones held by a group in over 20 years.
On April 1, 2013, the band announced it would headline the 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour, with special guest Kelly Clarkson. The tour began on August 1, 2013, and concluded on October 6, 2013, comprising 34 dates. Maroon 5 released the fourth and final single from the album "Love Somebody", on May 14, 2013.
2013-2016: V, return of Carmichael and lineup changes
Maroon 5 performing live in 2016.
In April 2013, James Valentine said the band was in the studio recording songs for the fifth album: "The stuff we're working on now, it definitely has gone maybe a little darker in its sound, maybe back a little bit more to what we kind of did on Songs About Jane, but at this point, we do have all kinds of different songs and it is early".
On April 15, 2014, Jesse Carmichael confirmed that his hiatus from the band was complete and he reunited with the band in time to record the album. With Carmichael's return along with PJ Morton, the band's lineup grew to six members.
In May 2014, Maroon 5 transferred from A&M Octone Records, when they signed with Interscope Records (in partnership with Adam Levine's label 222 Records) and announced their fifth studio album V (pronounced: "five"), which was released on September 2, 2014. The album was also released on a limited-edition ZinePak. The album's first single "Maps", was released on June 16, 2014, and peaked number 6 on the Hot 100 chart. On August 10, the band headlined the Hyundai Card City Break, a rock festival in South Korea. At the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on August 24, 2014, Maroon 5 appeared to perform for the first time with "Maps" and "One More Night". The second single, "Animals" was released on August 25 and peaked at number 3 on the Hot 100 chart. It was featured on the 2015 Kia Soul EV commercial.
After releasing the album, it reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart on September 10, 2014.V received mixed reviews from critics. Brad Wete, writing for Billboard, said: "Levine's hummingbird vocals and passionate delivery are as earnest as they were on their 2002 debut Songs About Jane." On September 11, 2014, Maroon 5 performed during the 2014 iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in London, England. Later, the band performed at the Grammy Awards' Christmas special, entitled A Very Grammy Christmas on December 5, 2014, and at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour 2014 on December 12, 2014.
"Sugar" was released as the third single from the album on January 13, 2015. A music video was released on January 14, 2015, where the band traveling around Los Angeles and performing at random weddings. The single reached at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Like "Animals", the single was featured on commercials with two 2015 vehicles namely, the Nissan GT-R and the Toyota Corolla Altis. On February 22, 2015, Maroon 5 performed "Lost Stars" at the 87th Academy Awards. The song appeared on the soundtrack of the 2013 film Begin Again (which also stars Levine) and the deluxe edition of the band's album V.
The band released their first greatest hits album Singles, on September 25, 2015, through 222 and Interscope. It contains 12 singles taken from the first five albums. In 2016, the band also released The Studio Albums, an album collection box set featuring all five albums was available on September 30, 2016.
The same year, Sam Farrar who had been touring and collaborated with Maroon 5, appears in the band's promotional photo, where he became a new official member.
On June 8, the band performed in Capital's Summertime Ball, in the UK. On September 20, 2019, Maroon 5 released the song "Memories", which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The following month, guitarist James Valentine revealed the details about the band working on their new album, stating: "It does foreshadow a new album, which we're currently in the studio working on. But, yeah, we are working on a new record." Maroon 5 launched its 2020 Tour in South America from February 23 to March 10, 2020. The North American leg was originally scheduled for summer 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dates were rescheduled and will be billed on the band's upcoming 2021 Tour.
In June 2020, it was announced that David Dobkin was directing a documentary film about the band. It is expected to be released in 2021. On June 27, 2020, bassist Mickey Madden was arrested in Los Angeles due to an allegation of domestic violence and several days later, on July 14, 2020, Madden announced on People Magazine, that he is retiring from the band "for the foreseeable future".
I think the classic Maroon 5 song is minor, and it has some funk, Nile Rodgers-style guitar and the lyrics are probably about getting your heart broken. So minor, funk and heartbreak -- that's the Maroon 5 formula.
Maroon 5's musical style has generally been regarded as pop,pop rock,funk rock,dance-pop,blue-eyed soul,neo soul,R&B, and soft rock. Adam Levine has stated: "Everything that's written and performed and put together pretty much comes from us. I just think people would be surprised to know that we're a self-contained unit. We're a band that does their own thing. There's no puppet master." However, in an article about the songwriter and producer Benny Blanco, it is revealed that at least some of the band's songs, such as "Moves like Jagger," are the product of efforts by or collaborations with, professional songwriters and producers. In the same article, Levine says, "It's almost as if [Benny Blanco] has the Midas touch in putting the right people together at the right time to create a musical moment. He's about collaboration. And he's so good at nailing down who does everything best."
The band's style changes from album to album. Songs About Jane consists of songs about Levine's ex-girlfriend Jane Herman. On It Won't Be Soon Before Long, however, the songs are less personal and are more electric with more use of synthesizers, creating a retro feel. Hands All Over continues the band's lost love theme, along with songs about infatuation and was re-released in 2011, with the hit single "Moves like Jagger", an electropop song which represents a drastic change in the band's sound, with more of a dance feel to it. "It was one of those songs that was definitely a risk", Levine said. "It's a bold statement. We've never really released a song like that. But it's exciting to do something different, do something new. I'm just glad that everyone likes it." James Valentine called Overexposed "our most 'pop' record ever and we weren't shy about really going for it". They also have experimented with new wave and disco sounds on several albums.
In an interview with Variety in November 2018, the frontman of the band, Adam Levine, when asked if the band is pop, rock or urban, said, "Something unique to this band is that we have always looked to hip-hop, R&B, all rhythmic forms of music, from back when we were writing our first album to now. Rock music is nowhere, really. I don't know where it is. If it's around, no one's invited me to the party. All of the innovation and the incredible things happening in music are in hip-hop". This statement prompted widespread criticism from rock fans and some rockstars such as Slipknot's frontman Corey Taylor. Despite this backlash, the band saw a continued increase in popularity and commercial success in 2018, leading them to become one of the world's best-selling pop bands. They continue to collaborate with Hip-Hop artists and create mostly pop music.
On February 27, 2020, the band performed at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile. The performance, which began 29 minutes late, was listed as "mediocre" by part of the press. Mark Savage of the BBC said that Levine performed the songs with a "lack of energy" and was "out of tune", adding that the disappointment of some fans increased when videos were leaked. The videos showed Levine when he was leaving the stage, angry and saying that "they were deceived", "that was a TV show! ... that was not a concert", and that Viña del Mar is a "shitty city," sparking criticism. Levine later posted on Instagram to apologize for the incident and the band said they had experienced technical difficulties with the audio feed to Levine's ear pieces.
Adam Levine - lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar (1994-present)
Hands All Over, the band's third studio album, which was released in September 2010, peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 charts. In 2011, the album was re-released and supported by the single "Moves like Jagger", a song featuring American singer Christina Aguilera. The song became the band's second single to reach number one on the Hot 100 chart; it has sold over 14.4 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles worldwide. The band released their fourth studio album, Overexposed, in June 2012. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. The first two singles from the album "Payphone" and "One More Night", were both international hits and peaked at two and one on the Hot 100 chart respectively. "One More Night", managed to beat Psy's "Gangnam Style" by reaching number one on Billboard Hot 100 and stayed tied with Carly Rae Jepsen's hit single "Call Me Maybe" for most weeks at No. 1 in 2012.
Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings Tour (The Counting Crows) (2008)
Since 2008, Maroon 5 has partnered with environmental non-profit REVERB to green their tours and engage fans to take action for the environment.
Maroon 5 has been a longtime supporter of Aid Still Required (ASR). After contributing the live version of "She Will Be Loved" to ASR's All Star CD in support of the survivors of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, Maroon 5 went on to record a public service announcement for ASR about work that still needed to be done in Haiti. Maroon 5 has participated in various ASR social media campaigns and Levine has donated a meet and greet on the set of The Voice to raise funds for various ASR programs.
Maroon 5 supports the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.
In 2006, Maroon 5 were awarded an Environmental Media Award, due to donating their 2005 North American tour income to a global environment organization, called "Global Cool".
In 2011, Maroon 5 (along with PJ Morton, who was the band's touring member at the time) took part in a project named "24 Hour Session" with Coca-Cola. The band wrote and recorded the song "Is Anybody Out There?" in 24 hours. After the project ended, the track was made available on the Coca-Cola website. It was also announced that if the song would be downloaded more than 100,000 times, Coca-Cola would donate to Africa for clean water.
Adam Levine, whose brother is openly gay, is an outspoken supporter of same sex marriage and LGBT rights. In 2011, he made a video on Maroon 5's official YouTube account in support of the It Gets Better Project. In January 2012, he announced that Maroon 5 had changed the location of their post-Grammy Awards show because of the "unnamed Los Angeles restaurant's backing of Proposition 8".
In August 2013, Maroon 5 teamup with the rum brand Malibu, to host a collaborative competition titled Marooned on Malibu Island, where encouraged fans participate to nominate their city by creating their own virtual Malibu Island. After the contest was closed, the event later took place in a concert at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, New York, on November 16, 2013.
In 2015, the band had a partnership with Vita Coco, as part for the North American leg of the Maroon V Tour, with every stop through on-site allowing fans to drink coconut water and meet-and-greet with the band.
On June 25, 2016, Maroon 5 partnered with UNICEF to launch #Maroon5Day to mark the 14th anniversary of the release of their first album Songs About Jane. Fans were encouraged to donate to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. It was announced that Maroon 5 will match up to $25,000 in donations to help children in need. The campaign was nominated at the 2016 Shorty Social Good Awards for Best Influencer & Celebrity Partnership.
^Along with 14 other artists who donated tracks to the album including Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and Norah Jones, Maroon 5 donated the live recording of "She Will Be Loved" to ASR's All-Star CD to support victims in the aftermath of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami.