Daniel Coulter Reynolds is an American singer, songwriter, music producer and musician, and also, founder-lead singer of the rock band, ‘Imagine Dragons.’ Born and raised in Las Vegas, US, he achieved the rank of ‘Eagle Scout’ during his school days. He regularly wrote his feelings in the songs from the age of 14. During his university years, he worked as a ‘Mormon Missionary’ in Nebraska for 2 years. Later, while studying at the ‘Brigham Young University,’ he formed the rock band ‘Imagine Dragons,’ along with fellow band-mates Wayne Sermon, Daniel Platzman and Ben McKee. After initial struggling years, the band earned its fame with their debut studio album ‘Night Visions,’ and its single ‘Radioactive,’ which proved best-selling rock song in the digital history. Reynolds and his band have won a number of prestigious awards, including ‘Grammy’ and ‘Billboard Music Awards.’ He puts efforts to raise awareness about the suicides among the LGBT youth. Reynolds collaborated with, and later married Aja Volkman, the lead singer of the group, ‘Nico Vega’ and together they released an eponymous EP under the name, ‘Egyptian.’ The couple has three daughters and they divorced after 7 years of marriage.
Childhood & Early Life
Daniel Reynolds was born on July 14, 1987, in Las Vegas, to natives of Nevada, Ronald Reynolds and Christine M. (née Callister). His father is a lawyer and a writer. Reynolds is a seventh child in a large family of nine children.
During his school years he was a Boy Scout and in 2005, he received the rank of ‘Eagle Scout.’ He attended ‘Bonanza High School,’ and took piano and drums lessons and played saxophone in middle school. He enjoyed rock melodies by Elton John and Harry Nilsson and his favorite rock singers were Billy Joel, Bono and Paul Simon. As a teenager he started writing and recording his own songs (on his brother’s computer).
After graduating from the school, he joined the ‘University Of Nevada,’ Las Vegas. At the age of 19, he worked as a full-time volunteer Mormon Missionary in Nebraska for 2 years through his church, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (LDS). After completion of this service, he changed his university and joined ‘Brigham Young University’ at Utah, to study music, communications and marketing. Reportedly he was expelled from the university and could not complete his degree.
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Reynolds’ entire family is academically inclined, so, according to him, leaving studies for music was a difficult decision. At the ‘Brigham Young University’ he realized that he wanted to follow a career in music. He started the band ‘Imagine Dragons,’ with guitarist Wayne Sermon and drummer Andrew Tolman, who later left to be replaced by Daniel Platzman. With bassist Ben McKee, the band was complete and they won local competitions as well as BYU’s ‘Battle of the Bands.’ The band then moved from Utah to Las Vegas.
’Imagine Dragons’ got their big break in 2010, when they were called as a replacement (because the band ‘Train’ couldn’t attend due to medical reasons) in the ‘Bite of Las Vegas Festival.’ They performed in front of a huge gathering and received favorable response.
They worked with the Grammy Award-winning producer, Alex da Kid, when they signed with ‘Interscope Records’ in 2011. Their first single ‘Its Time,’ from their upcoming debut album, was released in August 2012. In September 2012, they released their debut studio album ‘Night Visions,’ which made to the top 10 albums in the US for 3 successive years from 2012 to 2014. It also earned nominations and awards.
The second single from the album, ‘Radioactive,’ became a hit with a record longest run of 87 weeks on ‘Billboard Hot 100.’ It was at the top of the charts for 23 uninterrupted weeks. With more than 7.5 million copies sold in the US alone, it is the best-selling rock song in the digital history. The third single, ‘Demons,’ also sold more than 5 million copies and became 8th best-selling rock song.
The band received nominations and awards at ‘Grammy’ and also at a number of other music awards. In 2014, they played for large crowds at such festivals as, ‘Made in America Music Festival,’ and ‘Lollapalooza Brazil.’
The second album of the band, ‘Smoke + Mirror’ was released in February 2015 and it debuted at the top on ‘Billboard 200’ (UK Album chart and Canada Album chart). Two singles from this album, ‘I bet my life’ and ‘Shot’ made to the ‘Billboard Hot 100.’
The band toured and performed at a number of arenas. Their third album, ‘Evolve’ came out in June 2017. The singles from this album, especially ‘Believer,’ ‘Whatever It Takes,’ and ‘Thunder’ remained on the top of various charts for a number of weeks.
In 2010, Reynolds met Aja Volkman, the lead singer of the group ‘Nico Vega,’ when his band played the opening set for them. Later, the two of them formed an indie rock duo band ‘Egyptian.’ Together they produced a four track eponymous EP ‘Egyptian.’
Reynolds turned music producer in 2016 and formed ‘Night Street Records,’ an imprint label under ‘Interscope Records.’ His first recording was with K. Fay, an alternative hip-hop artist.
With performing acts of his band and others such as ‘Neon Tree,’ ‘Krewella,’ and ‘Joshua James,’ he organized a concert in August, 2017. The proceeds of this concert, ‘LOVELOUD,’ were donated to LGBT organizations. Second such concert is scheduled for July 28, 2018. His documentary film ‘Believer’ about the suicides of LGBT teens in Utah was premiered at ‘Sundance Festival’ on January 20, 2018. ‘Imagine Dragons’ works with the ‘Tyler Robinson Foundation’ to help the young cancer patients. The band also collaborated with other good causes such as Amnesty International’s ‘Bringing Human Rights Home,’ and ‘Do The Write Thing: National Campaign to Stop Violence.’
Awards & Achievements
Reynolds and his band has won a number of prestigious music awards, the few prominent ones are as follows: ’Imagine Dragons’ debut album ‘Night Visions’ was awarded the ‘Top Rock Album’ at ‘Billboard Music Awards’ (2014) and it received nomination for a ‘Juno Award for International Album of the Year.’ The band was nominated for 2 ‘Grammy Awards,’ of which they won the one for ‘Best Rock Performance’ (2014). They won two ‘American Music Awards,’ for ‘Favorite Alternative Artist’ and a ‘Teen Choice Award’ for ‘Choice Rock Group,’ and a ‘Billboard Music Award’ for ‘Top Rock Artist.’
Reynolds won the ‘Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Hal David Starlight Award’ in 2014. In ‘2018 Grammy Awards,’ ‘Imagine Dragon’ received 2 nominations and won ‘iHeart Radio Music Award’ for ‘Alternative Rock Artist of the Year.’
Reynolds married fellow musician Aja Volkman, (lead singer of the band ‘Nico Vega’) on March 5, 2011. They are parents of three daughters – Arrow Eve (born – August, 2012) and twin daughters Gia James and Coco Rae (born – March, 2017). After seven years of marriage, the couple decided to separate in April 2018.
Reynolds suffers from inflammatory disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis and along with pharmaceutical company Novartis, tries to raise awareness about the ailment. He has revealed that he had been seeing a therapist for the past two years for his depression issues.