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Biography of Van Halen
Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. Credited with «restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene», Van Halen is known for its energetic live shows and for the work of its acclaimed lead guitarist, Eddie Van Halen. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
From 1974 until 1985, Van Halen consisted of Eddie Van Halen; Eddie’s brother, drummer Alex Van Halen; vocalist David Lee Roth; and bassist Michael Anthony. Upon its release, the band’s self-titled debut album reached No. 19 on the Billboard pop music charts. By the early 1980s, Van Halen was one of the most successful rock acts of the time. The album 1984 was a hit; its lead single, «Jump», is the band’s only U.S. number one single to date and was internationally known.
In 1985, Van Halen replaced Roth with former Montrose lead vocalist Sammy Hagar. With Hagar, the group would release four U.S. number-one albums over the course of 11 years (5150 in 1986, OU812 in 1988, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in 1991, and Balance in 1995). Hagar left the band in 1996 shortly before the release of the band’s first greatest hits collection, Best Of – Volume I. Former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone replaced Hagar, remaining with the band until 1999; Van Halen then went on hiatus until reuniting with Hagar for a worldwide tour in 2003. The following year, the band released The Best of Both Worlds, its second greatest hits collection. Hagar again left Van Halen in 2005; in 2006, Roth returned as lead vocalist. Anthony was fired from the band in 2006 and was replaced on bass guitar by Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son. In 2012, the band released the commercially and critically successful A Different Kind of Truth.
As of March 2019, Van Halen is 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists in the United States; the band has sold 56 million albums in the States and more than 80 million worldwide. As of 2007, Van Halen was one of only five rock bands with two studio albums that sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Additionally, Van Halen has charted 13 number-one hits in the history of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time.
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