Red Hot Chili Peppers (also commonly known as the “Chili Peppers” or abbreviated as RHCP) are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group’s musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. When played live, they incorporate many aspects of jam band due to the improvised nature of much of their performances. Currently, the band consists of founding members Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass), longtime drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined in late 2009, following the departure of John Frusciante. Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy Awards, and sold over 80 million records worldwide. The Red Hot Chili Peppers came in at # 30 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The Chili Peppers ranked # 72 on VH1’s 100 Sexiest Artists, as well as placing # 128 on the Top Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years chart. In 2012, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band’s original line-up featured guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons, alongside Kiedis and Flea.
Because of commitments to other bands, Slovak and Irons did not play on the band’s debut album, The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984). Cliff Martinez was the drummer for the first two records (Irons played on the third), and guitarist Jack Sherman played on the first. Slovak performed on two albums with the band (the second and third), Freaky Styley (1985) and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987); he died of a heroin overdose in 1988. As a result of the death of his friend, drummer Irons chose to depart from the group. Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist DeWayne McKnight was brought in to replace Slovak though his tenure was short and he was replaced by John Frusciante in 1988. Former Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro was brought in to replace Irons though after a short tenure with the band he was out and replaced by Chad Smith that same year. The line-up of Flea, Kiedis, Frusciante and Smith was the longest-lasting, and recorded five studio albums starting with 1989’s Mother’s Milk. In 1990, the group signed with Warner Bros. Records and recorded under producer Rick Rubin the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), which became the band’s first commercial success. Frusciante grew uncomfortable with the success of the band and left abruptly in 1992, in the middle of the album tour.
After recruiting guitarist Arik Marshall to complete the tour, Kiedis, Flea, and Smith employed Jesse Tobias though after a few weeks he was replaced by Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction for their subsequent album, One Hot Minute (1995). Although commercially successful, the album failed to match the critical or popular acclaim of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, selling less than half as much as its predecessor. Navarro left the band in 1998. Frusciante, fresh out of drug rehabilitation, rejoined the band that same year at Flea’s request. The reunited quartet returned to the studio to record Californication (1999), which became the band’s biggest commercial success with 15 million copies worldwide. That album was followed three years later by By the Way (2002), and then four years later by the double album Stadium Arcadium (2006), their first number one album in America. After a world tour, the group went on an extended hiatus. Frusciante announced he was amicably leaving the band to focus on his solo career. Josh Klinghoffer, who had worked both as a sideman for the band on their Stadium Arcadium tour and on Frusciante’s solo projects, joined as lead guitarist in 2009 and the band spent the next year and a half recording their tenth studio album, I’m with You, which was released in 2011 and topped the charts in 18 different countries.