Who Is Chris Martin?
Chris Martin is a British musician and the lead singer of the popular band Coldplay. He attended University College London, where he met Will Champion, Guy Berryman and Jonny Buckland, who would become his bandmates. With Martin as lead singer, rhythm guitarist and pianist, Coldplay's debut album, Parachutes, topped the charts in the U.K. and won a Grammy Award. Martin is also known for his collaborations with artists like Jay-Z and Avicii.
Martin was born Christopher Anthony John Martin on March 2, 1977, in Exeter, Devon, England, the eldest of five children to a teacher and an accountant. His interests in music developed at a young age and he formed his first band, The Rocking Honkies, while he was attending the preparatory Exeter Cathedral School.
After continuing his studies at another independent school, Martin attended University College in London, where he graduated with a degree in Ancient World Studies. During the college's orientation week in 1996, he met guitarist Jonathan "Jonny" Buckland and the two decided to form a band, with the chosen name Pectoralz. By 1997, the band (renamed Starfish by this time) had recruited Guy Berryman on the bass and Will Champion on the drums.
Coldplay Albums and Songs
In 2000, the band, now known as Coldplay, released their debut album, Parachutes. The album was a commercial success, peaking at No. 1 on the U.K. charts and entering the top half of the U.S. Billboard 200 with hits like "Yellow," "Trouble" and "Don't Panic." The album eventually became certified seven-time platinum. It received the Best British Album Award at the 2001 Brit Awards and won the 2001 Grammy Award for best alternative music album.
'A Rush of Blood to the Head'
The group released their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, in 2002. The album proved to be another success with songs including "In My Place," "Clocks" and "The Scientist," and the group went on a nine-month tour to North America, Europe and Australia. The tour was filmed for the Live 2003 DVD. They also picked up two more Grammy Awards: "Clocks" won record of the year and "In My Place" was named best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal.
'X&Y,' 'Viva La Vida,' 'Mylo Xyloto'
Coldplay continued to thrive, as their follow-up efforts, X&Y (2005) and Viva La Vida (2008) — featuring a title track that went to No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K. — both became the top-selling albums of the year in which they were released. Mylo Xyloto became the group's third album to top the Billboard 200 upon its debut in October 2011.
'Ghost Stories,' 'A Head Full of Dreams'
In 2014, Coldplay dropped Ghost Stories, which featured such songs as "Magic" and "A Sky Full of Stars." The following year, Coldplay put out A Head Full of Dreams. The band soon landed one of music's most high-profile gigs, performing as part of the halftime show at Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.
Shortly afterward, the band launched its A Head Full of Dreams Tour. The massively successful tour crossed five continents, logging 114 sold-out performances in 83 venues, before wrapping in November 2017. The undertaking generated a whopping $523 million, making it Billboard's third highest-grossing tour since the publication first started keeping track in 1990.
Four years after their last studio effort, Coldplay delivered the double album Everyday Life in November 2019. This time, in stark contrast to their previous touring schedule, Martin said the band would only perform a few gigs, due to concerns about the environmental impact of undertaking a major tour.
Solo Work and Collaborations
Outside of Coldplay, Martin has written a variety of songs for solo acts including British pop group Embrace and the singer Jamelia. In 2006, he collaborated with Nelly Furtado on the track "All Good Things (Come to an End)" from her album Loose, and worked with Jay-Z on "Beach Chair," from his album Kingdom Come. Martin has also collaborated with rapper Kanye West, pop singers Kylie Minogue and Dua Lipa and electronic music DJ Avicii.
In addition to making musical statements, Martin also has a strong social agenda. He campaigned for fair trade in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and contributed to Band Aid 20 to aid Sudanese refugees in Darfur.
Backstage at a concert in 2002, Martin met actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The couple married a year later, in December 2003, and had two children together, daughter Apple Blythe Alison Martin and son Moses Bruce Anthony Martin—born in 2004 and 2006, respectively—before separating in March 2014.
"It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate," Paltrow wrote in a post on her website GOOP following the announcement. "We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much, we will remain separate."
Martin is currently dating actress Dakota Johnson.
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