Related Artists

Jane's Addiction

Foo Fighters


The Clash

No Doubt


Stone Temple Pilots




Red Hot Chili Peppers Biography

Home > Music > R > Red Hot Chili Peppers > Biography

Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, United States
Years Active: 1983–present
Genres: Funk Rock, Rap Rock, Alternative Rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American funk rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The band's current line-up is Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Michael "Flea" Balzary (bass), Chad Smith (drums) and Josh Klinghoffer (guitar). Their musical style has fused traditional funk with elements of other genres including hip hop, punk rock, and psychedelic rock.

The group originally featured guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. Slovak, however, died of a heroin overdose in 1988, resulting in Irons' departure. Irons was replaced briefly by former Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro before the band found a permanent replacement in Smith, while Slovak was replaced by guitarist John Frusciante. This lineup recorded the band's fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth albums, ''Mother's Milk'' (1989), ''Blood Sugar Sex Magik'' (1991), ''Californication'' (1999), ''By the Way'' (2002), and ''Stadium Arcadium'' (2006).

''Blood Sugar Sex Magik'' was a significant record for the band; having sold over fifteen million copies, it provided the group's initial mainstream commercial success. "Give It Away" was released as the first single; it won a Grammy award in 1992 for "Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocal" and became the band's first number one single on the Modern Rock chart. The ballad "Under the Bridge" was released as a second single, and went on to reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the highest the band had reached as of 2011 on that chart, and became one of the band's most recognizable songs. Other singles such as "Breaking the Girl" and "Suck My Kiss" also fared charted well.

Frusciante grew uncomfortable with this new found success and left abruptly in the middle of the tour for the album in 1992, descending into heroin addiction.

After recruiting guitarist Arik Marshall to finish the tour, Kiedis, Flea, and Smith employed Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction for their subsequent album, ''One Hot Minute'' (1995). Selling eight million copies worldwide, it spawned the band's third #1 single, the ballad "My Friends", and enjoyed chart success with the songs "Warped" and "Aeroplane".

Shortly afterwards, Navarro departed the band due to creative differences.

Frusciante, fresh out of drug rehabilitation, rejoined the band in 1998, at Flea's request. The reunited quartet returned to the studio to record ''Californication'' (1999), which went on to sell fifteen million units worldwide, becoming their most commercially successful album to date. “Californication” produced three more number one modern rock hits: "Scar Tissue", "Otherside" and "Californication". "Scar Tissue" won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. Other singles included "Around the World", "Road Trippin'", and "Parallel Universe", which broke the Top 40 modern rock charts without a separate release as a single.

They followed three years later with ''By the Way'' (2002), which continued their success. The album produced five hit singles; "By the Way", "The Zephyr Song", "Can't Stop", "Dosed", and "Universally Speaking", and was their most subdued album to date, focusing primarily on melodic ballads as opposed to their classic rap-driven funk.

In 2006, the group released the Rick Rubin produced, double album ''Stadium Arcadium'', giving them their first American number one album. The record's first single, "Dani California", was the band's fastest-selling single, debuting on top of the Modern Rock chart in the U.S., peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reaching #2 in the UK. "Tell Me Baby", released next, also topped the charts in 2006. "Snow ((Hey Oh))" was released in late 2006, breaking multiple records by 2007. The song became their eleventh number one single, giving the band a cumulative total of 81 weeks at number one. It was also the first time three consecutive singles by the band made it to number one.

Red Hot Chili Peppers have won six Grammy Awards. The band has sold over 60 million albums worldwide, has had eight singles in the Top 40 of the ''Billboard'' Hot 100 (including three singles in the Top 10), five number one singles on the Mainstream Rock charts, and holds a record of eleven number one singles on the Modern Rock charts.