Christopher Anthony John Martin, better known to his fans as Chris Martin, is the co-founder and talented member of the alternative rock band ‘Coldplay.’ Apart from singing, he also plays the rhythm guitar, harmonica, keyboard, and piano. The son of a music teacher, he grew up to become a music lover and formed his first band in prep school. During his university days, he met and collaborated with aspiring musician Jonny Buckland to form the alternative rock band ‘Coldplay.’ The band became a smash hit with its debut album ‘Parachutes’ winning the ‘Grammy Award’ for ‘Best Alternative Music Album’ in 2002. It was also a big commercial hit, establishing the debutants in the music industry. The band went on to release many other hit albums over the years. Martin has also performed as a solo artist, writing a number of songs like ‘Gravity’ and ‘See It in a Boy’s Eyes.’ Along with alternative rock, he is also interested in hip-hop and performed with Jay-Z in his comeback album ‘Kingdom Come.’ He has also performed in collaboration with singers like Swizz Beatz and Kayne West. Martin named the Scottish rock band ‘Travis’ as his major influence and stated that he drew inspiration from the band before starting his own band.
Childhood & Early Life
Chris Martin was born on 2 March 1977, in Whitestone, England, to accountant Anthony Martin and music teacher Alison Martin. He has four younger siblings.
Being the son of a music teacher, he always held music close to his heart. He attended the preparatory ‘Exeter Cathedral School’ and formed his first music band which was disapproved by his audience.
After prep school, he went to ‘Sherborne School’ in Dorset where he met Phil Harvey who would become his band’s manager in future.
He enrolled at the ‘University College London’ where he studied Ancient World Studies, Greek, and Latin. He graduated with First Class honors. At the university, he met other aspiring musicians like Jonny Buckland and Will Champion.
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Along with his friend Jonny Buckland, he formed an alternative rock band named ‘Starfish’ which included his other university mates Will Champion and Guy Berryman. They later changed the band’s name to ‘Coldplay.’
The band’s debut album ‘Parachutes’ released in 2000. It became an instant hit. It included singles, such as ‘Shiver,’ ‘Trouble,’ and ‘Yellow.’ The album sold very well and went multi-platinum in Britain, U.S., and Australia.
Their second album ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ released in 2002. The album was critically acclaimed and won several domestic and international music awards.
Encouraged by the success of the band’s albums, Martin began his solo career in 2002. He provided vocals to the albums of other artists like Faultline, Ron Sexsmith, and Ian McCulloch.
In 2004, he sang ‘Gravity’ for the English band ‘Embrace’ and ‘Do you know it’s Christmas?’ for the charity group ‘Band Aid 20.’
Released in 2005, Coldplay’s third album ‘X&Y’ featured the hit singles ‘Speed of Sound’ and ‘Clocks.’ The album was a big commercial success and was labeled ‘fresh’ and ‘emotional.’
The year 2006 was a good one for his solo career. He collaborated with other prominent artists like Nelly Furtado, Michael Stipe, and Jay-Z and was featured in many of their albums.
He co-wrote lyrics, played the piano, and provided vocals for the single ‘Homecoming’ in Kayne West’s album ‘Graduation’ in 2007.
His band’s fourth studio album ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ released in 2008. This album differed from its predecessors as a variety of musical styles like tribal music and honky-tonk piano were used.
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In 2011, the band’s fifth album ‘Mylo Xyloto’ was released. It was a concept album "based on a love story with a happy ending” in Martin’s words. The album received mostly positive reviews.
The band’s sixth album ‘Ghost Stories’ was released by ‘Parlophone’ on 16 May 2014. It had singles like ‘Magic,’ ‘A Sky Full of Stars,’ and ‘Midnight.’ The following year, they released their seventh album ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ which had hit songs like ‘Hymn for the Weekend,’ ‘Up & Up,’ and ‘Adventure of a Lifetime.’
In 2019, their eighth studio album ‘Everyday Life’ was released.
He has also made cameo appearances in television shows and films.
Coldplay’s debut album ‘Parachutes,’ which released in 2000, was a big hit and topped music charts in the U.K. It also performed well internationally. The album won the ‘Grammy Award’ for ‘Best Alternative Music Album’ and went multi-platinum in the U.S.
The band’s 2002 album ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ was critically acclaimed and won the band its second ‘Grammy Award’ for ‘Best Alternative Music Album.’ The album sold more copies than its predecessor.
Coldplay’s third album ‘X&Y’ (2005) was also a major hit. The album elicited positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one in ‘UK Albums Chart’ and ‘US Billboard 200.’
Awards & Achievements
His band ‘Coldplay’ has received seven ‘Grammy Awards’ till date. ‘The Grammy Awards’ are presented annually by the ‘National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ for outstanding achievements in the record industry.
‘Coldplay’ has received three ‘Juno Awards’ (2006, 2009, and 2017). The award is given primarily to honor Canadian musical artists and bands.
In 2009, ‘Coldplay’ won the ‘Ivor Novella Award’ for ‘Best Selling British Song’ for their song ‘Viva La Vida’ from the album ‘Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends.’ It also won the award in 2017 for the song ‘Hymn for the Weekend.’
Personal Life & Legacy
He married actress and singer Gwyneth Paltrow in 2003. They have two children. In 2015, Paltrow filed for a divorce which was finalized in July 2016.
He is an ardent supporter of the campaign ‘Make Trade Fair,’ organized by ‘Oxfam International’ to promote fair trade among governments, institutions, and corporations.
In October 2017, he started dating actress Dakota Johnson.
He is a teetotaler and does not smoke.
He was named the ‘World's Sexiest Vegetarian’ in 2005 by PETA, although he is not a vegetarian.
He is friends with actor and producer Simon Pegg.