Alabama Shakes have topped US charts - here's how they did it.
It looks like the new chart system is benefiting a lot of people, most recently US rockers Alabama Shakes who have managed to secure the top spot with their incredible second album release 'Sound & Color'. But just how has this modest quartet spiralled to success so easily?
Alabama Shakes score their first number one album
Since their official formation in 2009, the Alabama group have impressed all who hear them. They're lovable not just for their unique and captivating roots rock sound, but also for their humble appearance; doing away with the ethos that music should be combined with image and instead opting to be just, well, themselves. So just how have this unlikely collective won over the rest of their nation so easily?
1. CMJ Music Marathon 2011 - After releasing their self-titled first EP, Alabama Shakes used their musical witchcraft to convince CMJ organisers that they would be a good match for the event. Sure enough, lead singer Brittany Howard found herself being personally praised by the New York Times following their performance, opening them up to a world of opportunity.
2. MTV - Their next major opportunity was when their song 'You Ain't Alone' was featured in a jewellery commercial; the band were later lauded as one of MTV's list of Eleven Artists To Watch In 2012. Subsequently, they secured shows at some seriously incredible venues (for a new born band) such as Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and LA's Troubadour.
3. Rough Trade Records/ATO Records - The band's first big signing was with Rough Trade and ATO in 2011; and they were even talent spotted by Jack White for his Third Man Records label. Following this they released debut album 'Boys & Girls' scoring a Gold certification and a spot at number 6 on the US Album Chart (number 3 in the UK). And who could forget their debut single 'Hold On' which managed to top the Adult Album Alternative chart and win a Grammy nomination.
4. Bonnaroo 2012 - Alabama Shakes succeeded at landing a spot on the prestigious line-up of their first big festival in 2012. Bonnaroo saw them play alongside the likes of Yelawolf and Kendrick Lamar, and they also played sets at End Of The Road Festival, Hangout Fest and Austin City Limits. Fast forward to 2015 and they're looking at slots at Gentleman of the Road Stopover, Glastonbury, Open'er Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, T In The Park and Lollapalooza. They're in high demand!
5. Conan - 'Conan' was the band's first TV appearance, and that set the ball rolling for many more. That same year they were featured on the 'Late Show with David Letterman', 'Later... with Jools Holland' and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!', and in early 2013 they were musical guests on 'Saturday Night Live'.
6. Americana Music Honors - Alabama Shakes won the Award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 2012 at the Americana Music Honors and over the following two years they received three Grammy nominations and a BRIT nomination. Their songs 'Hold On' and 'Always Alright' were recognised at the former ceremony, with the latter track having been used on the Oscar winning movie 'Silver Linings Playbook'.
7. Don't Wanna Fight - It was clear from their release of 'Sound & Color''s first single 'Don't Wanna Fight' that these guys were something seriously special. Next single 'Gimme All Your Love' was equally as impressive so, really, it's no surprise that the album has zoomed its way to the top spot. Makes a nice change from the barrage of manufactured pop in the charts. All hail Alabama Shakes!