Who is Anthony Kiedis?
Anthony Kiedis is the vocalist cum lyricist of the alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers which produced hit albums like ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ and ‘One Hot Minute’. The singer, regarded as a major figure in alternative rock had a difficult time growing up. The product of a broken family, he went to live with his father as a youngster. His father, a struggling actor who doubled up as a drug dealer to earn extra money exposed his teenage son to drug abuse. He met Hillel Slovak and Flea during his high school years and the trio hit it off very well. They shared a deep love for music and were determined to make it big as musicians. They started performing together and recruited drummer Jack Irons to form the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band’s initial releases did not find much success though they gradually began to carve a niche for themselves. They got their big breakthrough with the album ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 200 and went on to be accredited multi-Platinum in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. There was no looking back for the band which has by now garnered several Grammy Awards and has sold over 90 million records worldwide.
Childhood & Early Life
Anthony Kiedis was born to John Kiedis and his wife Margaret Noble. His father was an actor who used to perform under the name Blackie Dammett. He is of mixed ancestry.
His parents divorced in 1966 when he was three years old. His mother remarried and he was raised by his mother and stepfather.
He shifted to his father’s house in 1974 at the age of 12. His father, struggling to find work, sold marijuana and cocaine to earn money. The father-son duo used to have drugs together.
He went to Fairfax High School where he met Flea who would become his best friend. During this time he also met Hillel Slovak at a concert and the three boys became very good friends. The friends experimented with drugs together.
He was a good student in spite of his drug abuse and graduated with honours from high school in 1980.
He joined the University of California, Los Angeles, to study writing. By this time his drug addiction had worsened and it forced him to drop out of college.
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Anthony, along with his friends Flea, Slovak and Jack Irons formed a band called the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1983. The band’s music consisted of rock with elements of funk, punk rock and psychedelic rock. The band would see many changes in their line-up in the years to come.
The band released their debut album, ‘The Red Hot Chili Pepper’ in 1984. The album received mixed reviews and failed to chart.
Their second album ‘Freaky Styley’ was out in 1985. The album was followed by a concert tour which was very successful. However, during the tour the members’ drug problems worsened.
In 1987, they released the album ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan’ which was commercially as well as critically more successful than its predecessors. It featured a combination of funk rock, reggae, and heavy metal style music.
Their next album, ‘Mother’s Milk’ was out in 1989. It featured the hit singles ‘Knock Me Down’ and ‘Higher Ground’.
The 1991 album ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ was their first big breakthrough. The album made the band popular all over the world and went multi-Platinum in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
The album ‘Californication’ was released in 1999. The lyrics of the songs dealt with themes like death, lust, drugs, suicide, globalization, etc.
The 2002 album ‘By the Way’ peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Anthony adopted a different approach in the composition of lyrics to this album. It featured a more melodic style of music.
Their album ‘Stadium Arcadium’ (2006) was their highest ever charting album. It was critically acclaimed and earned seven Grammy nominations. It spawned the hits ‘Tell Me Baby’, ‘Dani California’ and ‘Hump de Bump’.
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Their latest album is ‘I’m With You’ released in 2011.
‘Californication’ was the band’s most successful album with worldwide sales of over 16 million copies. It spawned several hit singles like ‘Otherside’, ‘Californication’ and ‘Scar Tissue’.
The album ‘By the Way’ produced the hit singles ‘The Zephyr Song’, ‘Can’t Stop’ and ‘Dosed’. The album registered a sale of over 13 million copies worldwide.
‘Stadium Arcadium’ was the band’s most critically praised album. It debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and the Canadian Albums Chart. It went multi-Platinum in the U.S., U.K., Canada and New Zealand.
Awards & Achievements
Red Hot Chili Peppers have received 16 Grammy Award nominations and won six of them including Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for ‘Dani California’ in 2007.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was in a relationship with Heather Christie and had a son with her.
He has been linked with several women much younger than him.
He has had a long term problem with drug addiction though he claims he has been clean since 2000.
He acted as Sylvester Stallone’s son in the 1978 film F.I.S.T.