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With the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bassist Flea has scored numerous hit albums, including 1991's BloodSugarSexMagik and 2006's Stadium Arcadium.
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The Chili Peppers have showed tremendous staying power on the charts, still racking up hits more than two decades after they got their start. With 2006's Stadium Arcadium, the band delighted fans with such songs as "Dani California." After an extended break, Flea returned to the album charts with 2011's I'm With You with bandmates Kiedis and Smith and new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.
Over the years, Flea has remained a constant force within the Chili Peppers,
keeping the band going. He and Kiedis have stayed with the group from the beginning, weathering all sorts of personal challenges. In 2012, they received special recognition for their contributions when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Outside of his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea has recorded and performed with other artists. He has worked as a musician on albums by Mick Jagger, Alanis Morissette and Johnny Cash. Flea paired up with Radiohead's Thom Yorke for Atoms for Peace in 2009. Tackling another collaborative project, Flea joined with Damon Albarn of Blur fame and Tony Allen to form Rocket Juice and the Moon, which released its debut album in 2012.
A natural performer, Flea has also dabbled in acting. He has appeared in several films, beginning with 1983's Suburbia. He also had recurring small part in Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990) with Michael J. Fox. Working with some of the top directors, Flea appeared in Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Joel and Ethan Coen's The Big Lebowski (1998). He also lent his voice to several animated projects, including The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002) and Rugrats Go Wild (2003).
Flea is married to model Frankie Rayder. The couple has a daughter, Sunny Bepop Balzary, who was born in 2005. He also has an older daughter, Clara, from his first marriage to Loesha Zeviar. Flea has credited his children with helping him drop his hard-partying ways. He has seen the destructive powers of drug and alcohol abuse. In 1993, Flea was with actor River Phoenix, a close friend, when he suffered a fatal overdose.
This devoted dad has worked to share his musical knowledge with children. In 2001, Flea helped establish the Silverlake Conservatory of Music to provide music instruction to young people. He even ran the Los Angeles Marathon in 2010 to raise money for his non-profit organization.
Heavily tattooed, Flea has a portrait of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix on one of his arms. He also has his high school nickname—"Flea"—tattooed on his head, and his ex-wife's first name appears on his chest.
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When musicians land big fame, there typically comes a moment of reinvention in which the "rock star" identity is born. This new persona often requires a new name, a way to differentiate between the private and public versions of themselves. Musical monikers take different forms, from the simple, last-name changes aimed at boosting celebrity appeal—like Steven Tyler—to the glamorized version of a childhood nickname—like Jay-Z. Musicians' nicknames and aliases tend to take on an identity all their own over time, often becoming as full of personality as the artists they represent.
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