Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American alternative rock group that formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The band’s current line-up consists of Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass), Chad Smith (drums), and Josh Klinghoffer (guitar). The group’s musical style has fused traditional funk with elements of other genres, including punk and psychedelic rock.
The group’s original line-up featured guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons. Slovak died of a heroin overdose in 1988, resulting in Irons’s departure. Former Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro briefly took the place Irons before the ensemble found a permanent replacement in Smith. guitar player John Frusciante replaced Slovak. This line-up recorded the band’s fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth albums, Mother’s Milk (1989), Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Californication (1999), By the Way (2002), and Stadium Arcadium (2006).
Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the group’s first commercial success, has sold over thirteen million units. Frusciante grew uncomfortable with the success of the group and left abruptly in 1992, in the middle of the album tour. His use of heroin widened. After recruiting guitar player Arik Marshall to complete the tour, Kiedis, Flea, and Smith employed Dave Navarro of Jane’s dependence for their subsequent album, One Hot Minute (1995). Although commercially successful, the record failed to match the critical or successful acclaim of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, selling less than half as well as its predecessor. Navarro exited the ensemble shortly after the album’s release. Frusciante, fresh out of drug rehabilitation, rejoined the ensemble in 1998 at Flea’s request. The reunited foursome returned to the studio to record Californication (1999), which sold fifteen million albums – the band’s most commercially popular album. That album was came three years later by By the Way (2002), which was also successful. In 2006, the band issued the double record Stadium Arcadium, their first number one record in America. After a world tour, the lineup went on an extended hiatus. Frusciante announced he was amicably leaving the group to focus on his solo career. Josh Klinghoffer, who had worked both as a sideman for the ensemble and on Frusciante’s solo projects, joined as lead guitarist.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have won 7 Grammy Awards. The band has sold over 60 million albums worldwide, charting eight singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 (including three in the Top 10), five number one singles on the Mainstream Rock charts, and a record of eleven number one singles on the Modern Rock charts.