When they were high school seniors, Kara's Flowers released their first album in 1997 under Reprise Records, but after little success, the label dumped them. That same year, the band performed on an episode of "Beverly Hills, 90210," but its members eventually parted ways.
Levine and Carmichael attended Five Towns College on Long Island, N.Y. for a semester, where they were exposed to hip-hop, R&B, gospel and soul -- sounds Levine said would later inspire his music in a different way than the bands that had influenced him before, such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Mötley Crüe.
"I actually learned how to play drums in my attic listening to 'Doctor Feelgood,' the Mötley Crüe record," Levine said. "Just listening to it and playing it. I had a karaoke machine that I'd put, it was a really bad idea, but I put it right by my ear in order to get it loud enough, I'd have to crank it all the way."
"I just had these drums, a really crappy drum set," he continued. "I would be listening to it and playing it, almost treating it like a monitor, and I'd have it rigged up so it was blasting in my face and I'd play that whole album and I learned how to play drums. So, thank you Tommy Lee, appreciate it."
5. "F--- You," Cee Lo Green
After the duo dropped out of college and moved back to L.A., they regrouped with the former members of Kara's Flowers, adding guitarist James Valentine and moving Carmichael to keyboards, to form Maroon 5.
Lyrics written about Levine's ex-girlfriend turned into tracks on Maroon 5's debut album, aptly titled "Songs About Jane," which took two years to be certified platinum. The band played their release party at Tower Records Sunset in L.A. on Jan. 25, 2002, before hitting the road for their first tour.
"The record business has gone through some serious changes over the years," Levine said. "You know you're in L.A. and you see Tower Records disappear and you see the concept of the hard copy you know, going away. There's no more albums, there's no more. Change is inevitable and you kind of have to embrace it. So the Internet and all those things have changed everything very drastically, and there's nothing wrong with that, you know. Lots of different ways to get people interested in music and I think it's cool."
Maroon 5 won their first Grammy as "Best New Artist of 2005," but the following year, Dusick left the band, citing injury to his arm, and was replaced by Matt Flynn. The group's second album, "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," was released in 2007 and included the smash hit "Makes Me Wonder," which earned Maroon 5 a Grammy for "Best Pop Performance by a Group."
Their third album, "Hands All Over," debuted at number two on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart after its 2010 release. The debut single off that album, "Misery," earned the group a 2011 Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Performance by a Group." In addition to working with the band, Levine signed on as a judge for the competitive singing TV series, "The Voice," with fellow hosts Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.
"Cee Lo has made some records, as Gnarls Barkley and also on his own that I think are amazing-sounding and so refreshing and so cool, but also routed in old school, which is cool," Levine said.