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Anthony Kiedis is the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their 1991 alternative rock album BloodSugarSexMagik sold more than 4 million copies.
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The group eventually became known as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Their 1984 self-titled debut didn’t sell, but the group started to attract a following with their energetic live shows. Often over-the-top rebels, the Red Hot Chili Peppers even performed a few times while only wearing strategically placed tube socks. For their second effort, Freaky Styley, the group enlisted the help of funk superstar George Clinton to serve as their producer. The album also marked the return of Slovak and Irons to the band.
Kiedis’s off-stage activities were starting to take over his life. He was using heroin and cocaine heavily, so much so that his bandmates kicked him out of the group for a while. Returning to Michigan for a time, Kiedis went through detox. He returned to Los Angeles and the band, but did not stay clean for long.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers released their third album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, in 1987. The album even made it onto the Billboard 200 album charts. The following year, Kiedis experienced a great personal loss. Longtime friend and bandmate Slovak died of a heroin overdose on June 25, 1988. After this tragedy, Irons decided to leave the band and Kiedis eventually went to a rehabilitation center.
Trying to regroup, Kiedis and Flea added guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight and drummer D. H. Peligro to the group, but this line up didn’t work out. They then brought in guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith and recorded Mother’s Milk. They began attracting more fans and more media attention. MTV aired videos for two tracks—“Knock Me Down” and their cover of Steve Wonder’s hit “Higher Ground.”
In 1989, Kiedis found himself in legal trouble for a post-concert incident. He was accused of sexual battery and indecent exposure after a concert in Virginia at George Mason University that April, according to a report in The New York Times. He later paid a fine.
Working with producer Rick Rubin, the Red Hot Chili Peppers experienced a major career breakthrough with their next album BloodSugarSexMagik in 1991. The album sold more than 4 million copies, spurred on in part by such hits as “Under the Bridge,” “Give It Away,” and “Suck My Kiss.” Frusciante ended up leaving the group before it joined the alternative music tour Lollapalooza in 1992.
After a few false starts, the Red Hot Chili Peppers eventually replaced Frusciante with guitarist Dave Navarro, once with Jane’s Addiction. This latest line up recorded 1995’s One Hot Minute, which went platinum. “Aeroplane” and “My Friends” were two of the biggest hits from the album.
In July 1997, Kiedis was involved in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles. He broke his wrist and forearm when he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. The following year, Kiedis sued the driver for damages.
By the time the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their 1999 hit record Californication, Frusciante was back in the band, replacing Navarro who left to pursue solo projects.
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