The Killers are an American rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2001. Their music has been referred to as a mixture of genres including Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Punk Revival, New Wave, and Heartland Rock. The band’s name was derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in a music video for the New Order song “Crystal.”
The current members of the group are Brandon Flowers – lead vocals, keyboards (2001–present); bass (on For Reasons Unknown) (2006); Dave Keuning – lead guitar, backing vocals (2001–present); Mark Stoermer – bass, backing vocals (2002–present); rhythm guitar (on For Reasons Unknown) (2006); and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. – drums, percussion (2002–present). The group’s current touring musicians are Rob Whited – percussion, backing vocals (2006–present), Ted Sablay – rhythm and lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2006–2007, 2011–present), and Jake Blanton – keyboards, rhythm and lead guitar, bass, backing vocals (2011–present).
Seen as one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century, and the most successful rock band to emerge from the state of Nevada, the group has sold an estimated 22 million records worldwide. They have released four chart-topping studio albums: Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006), Day & Age (2008) and Battle Born (2012). They have also released a B-sides and rarities compilation, Sawdust (2007); a live album, Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009); a greatest hits album Direct Hits (2013); and a Christmas compilation Don’t Waste Your Wishes (2016). On November 18, 2016, The Killers released a Christmas compilation album Don’t Waste Your Wishes with 100 percent proceeds donated to the Product Red campaign. A fifth studio album is scheduled for release in 2017.
The Killers have also achieved worldwide success as a live band. They have performed in more than 50 countries and on six continents. They have also headlined venues such as Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium.
While on hiatus in 2010, the band was invited by President Barack Obama to play on the White House South Lawn on 4 July for the second annual “Salute to The Military” United Service Organizations concert as part of Independence Day celebrations. Flowers described the event as a “monumental honor.” The band played six songs: “Human”, “Somebody Told Me”, “Mr. Brightside”, “A Dustland Fairytale”, “God Bless America/Read My Mind” and “When You Were Young.” On 8 July 2010, Flowers, Keuning, and Stoermer played at a campaign rally in Nevada for President Obama and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who was up for re-election. The group played an acoustic version of “Read My Mind” and a folksy rendition of the state song, “Home Means Nevada.”
In February 2011, during Mitt Romney’s visit to the Republican Party convention in Nevada, Flowers met with him for a private lunch. The band remained neutral in the 2012 elections. In 2015, Flowers performed a folksy rendition of the state song, “Home Means Nevada” for President Obama and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid at the National Clean Energy Summit. In 2017, the band wrote a letter opposing development on the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
The Killers have owned and operated Battle Born Studios (formerly Studio Vegas) in Winchester, Nevada since 2008. Brandon Flowers released albums Flamingo (2010) and The Desired Effect (2015). Mark Stoermer released albums Another Life (2011) and Dark Arts (2016). And Ronnie Vannucci’s side project Big Talk released albums Big Talk (2011) and Straight In No Kissin’ (2015).
The Killers’ song “Goodnight, Travel Well” was used to promote awareness for sex trafficking headed by UNICEF, MTV EXIT: End Exploitation and Trafficking and the US Agency for International Development. The song “Hotel California” was covered by The Killers and Rhythms del Mundo with proceeds benefiting climate crisis and natural disaster relief. The song “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” was covered by The Killers with proceeds benefiting famine-stricken areas.
The Killers have been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, seven BRIT Awards, and twenty-four NME Awards. The band won have won four NME Awards for “Best International Band” in 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2013. In 2006, the group won a BRIT Award for “Best International Band” as well as an MTV Europe Music Award for “Best Rock Group.” Also in 2006, the band won for “Best Video” for “When You Were Young” at the Q Awards. To date, the band has received six nominations for “Best International Band” at the NME Awards, three nominations for “Best International Group” at the BRIT Awards, and three nominations for “Best Rock Group” at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
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