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Kings of Leon Poised For Continued Success at Home Featured

Kings of Leon have another hit on their hands Kings of Leon have another hit on their hands

Nashville’s Kings of Leon had hit the big time overseas well before most audiences stateside had ever heard of them. But 2008’s Only By The Night changed everything. That album went platinum or multi-platinum in eight countries around the world including the U.S., and included huge radio hits “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire,” the latter earning them a Grammy Award. This Fall’s Come Around Sundown peaked at #2 on U.S. charts while shooting to #1 on various other international charts, putting Kings of Leon right back in the spotlight.

The Nashville quartet is comprised of three brothers – Caleb, Nathan, and Jared Followill - and their cousin, Matthew Followill. The band got its start in the early ‘00s, when they moved to Nashville following their unusual childhoods.

The brothers spent their youth without a fixed address, traveling the Deep South with their father Leon, who was a Christian minister preaching in tent shows and revivals throughout America’s Bible Belt.

When their father left the church, the boys moved to Nashville and landed a record deal. Their debut album, 2003’s Youth and Young Manhood was a critical sensation in the UK, where it climbed to #3 on the charts and went gold.

Their follow up full-length, 2004’s Aha Shake Heartbreak once again became a hit overseas, selling platinum in the UK, and double platinum in both Australia and Ireland. But like their debut, the album failed to reach a mass audience in their native country.

The winds of change were blowing in 2007 with the release of Because of the Times. The album became Kings of Leon’s first to crack the Top 40 in the U.S. and their first to go to #1 in the UK.

Riding that momentum, the Followills released their biggest success to date, the afforementioned Only By the Night.

Now, 2010’s Come Around Sundown seems poised to outdo their previous success. Reviews for the new album are almost uniformly positive, and the band seems to be crafting ever tighter tracks that can appeal to more mainstream audiences without alienating their long-standing fans.

Kings of Leon have had a rise to the top that is increasingly uncommon. At one time, American bands routinely found audiences abroad and used that international interest to leverage some popularity in the U.S. But even if that phenomenon is increasingly less common, it’s obviously not unheard of, as the Nashville family has proven.

Can Come Around Sundown really eclipse the success of Only By the Night? Time will tell. A few more hits like “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody” wouldn’t hurt, and the new single “Radioactive” seems like it could do the trick. And if it does, be sure that Kings of Leon have cemented their spot in the hearts and ears of audiences in the United States and around the world.

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