Kings of Leon: 15 Facts You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

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Kings of Leon took the world by storm in 2008, gaining worldwide success with their singles “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” Since then, members Caleb (vocals, guitar), Nathan (drums), Jared (bass) and Matthew (lead guitar) Followill have been playing to sold-out arenas all over the world and headlined popular music festivals such as Reading & Leads, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, among others. The band has amassed millions of fans all over the world and received numerous awards for their arena rock sound. Read on to find out more about Kings of Leon, and check back soon for part two of our list.

Number Fifteen: Kings of Leon Didn’t Hit Commercial Success Until Their Fourth Album

Kings of Leon released three albums before they reached any sort of commercial success with their fourth, Only by the Night. The album was released in 2008, and contains the hit singles “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.”

Number Fourteen: They Are All Relatives

Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill are all brothers and Matthew Followill is their cousin. Furthermore, their tour technician is their cousin Christopher.

Number Thirteen: They Go by Their Middle Names

Instead of just using their first names, the band decided to go by their middle names in the band. Caleb’s first name is Anthony, Nathan’s is Ivan, Jared’s is Michael and Matthew’s is Cameron.

Number Twelve: They’re Big in Australia

Though the band’s music started to take off in the U.K. before hitting big everywhere else, the band seems to have the biggest draw in Australia. Only by the Night became the best-selling album in the country for 2008 and went nine-times platinum on its release.

Number Eleven: They’re Named After Their Grandfather

Kings of Leon named their band after their grandfather, whose name is Leon. Unfortunately, Leon passed away in 2014.

Number Ten: Their Father Was a Minister

Caleb, Nathan and Jared grew up in Tennessee travelling with their mother and United Pentecostal Church preacher father, Ivan. As a preacher, their father travelled a lot and the boys came with him, driving in a purple Oldsmobile that would frequently break down. Many times, the boys have also helped out with Ivan’s sermons, occasionally being asked to bang on drums. When their father retired from preaching, the boys formed Kings of Leon.

Number Nine: Kings Of Leon Released a Documentary About Their Career

In 2011, Kings of Leon released a documentary about their lives and their career. Called Talihina Sky, the film was directed by Stephen C. Mitchell and ran just under an hour-and-a-half. The film made its premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival in New York, followed by premieres in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland. The Edinburgh premiere was turned into a live U.K. movie theater one-night-only streaming event. In November 2011, the documentary was made available for purchase. Check back for part two of our list of 15 interesting facts about Kings of Leon, coming soon.

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