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 creative director Phil Harvey. They met at University College London and began playing music together from 1996 to 1998, initially calling themselves Starfish.
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. The band's third album, X&Y (2005), which completed what the band considered to be a trilogy, and their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), were both nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, with the latter winning; 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 select cinemas to mark the band's 20th anniversary.
With 100 million albums sold worldwide, Coldplay are one of the best-selling music acts of all time. According to Fuse, they are the sixth-most awarded group in history, which includes the most Brit Award nominations and wins for a band. Other notable achievements include the seventh-highest-grossing tour of all time, three of the 50 highest-selling albums in the United Kingdom, the most number-one albums in the country without ever missing the top, and becoming the first British group to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Coldplay are considered one of the most influential bands of the 21st century, with Forbes describing them as the standard for the current alternative music scene. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included A Rush of Blood to the Head on their "200 Definitive Albums" list and the single "Yellow" is part of their "Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" exhibition for being one of the most successful and important recordings in the music industry. Despite their popularity and impact, Coldplay have earned a reputation as polarizing music icons.