Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1997. They consist of vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and manager Phil Harvey. They initially met at University College London, calling themselves Big Fat Noises and changing to Starfish, before settling on the current name.
After independently releasing an extended play, Safety (1998), Coldplay signed with Parlophone in 1999. The band's debut album, Parachutes (2000), included their breakthrough single "Yellow" and received a Brit Award for British Album of the Year, a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album and a Mercury Prize nomination. Their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), won the same accolades and included the single "Clocks", which won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Their third album, X&Y (2005), which completed what the band considered a trilogy, was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. Their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), won Best Rock Album. Both albums were the best-selling of their respective years, topping the charts in over 30 countries. Viva la Vida was also nominated for Album of the Year, while its title track became the first single by a British group to simultaneously reach number one in the United Kingdom and United States in the 21st century.
Coldplay further diversified their sound over their next five studio albums, the most recent being Music of the Spheres (2021). Each album presented a unique theme and added new musical styles to the band's original repertoire, including electronica, ambient, pop, R&B, classical and progressive rock. They are also known for "euphoric" and "immersive" live performances, which NME said are when the band "come alive and make the most sense". In 2018, a career-spanning documentary directed by Mat Whitecross was released in cinemas to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary.
With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, Coldplay are among the best-selling music acts of all time. In 2014, Fuse ranked them as the sixth-most awarded group in history, which includes having the most Brit Awards wins by a band. They currently own three of the 50 highest-selling albums in the United Kingdom and the most number-one albums in the country (nine) without ever missing the top. In 2021, "My Universe" made them the first British group to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The band also have two of the 10 highest-grossing tours of all time. Moreover, Coldplay are considered one of the "most influential and pioneering" acts in the world. Forbes described them as a standard for the current alternative music scene, while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included A Rush of Blood to the Head on the 200 Definitive Albums list and "Yellow" is part of their Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll exhibition, for being one of the most influential recordings in the music industry. However, despite their popularity and impact, Coldplay have established a reputation as polarising cultural icons.