Marooned Atop the Charts: Band Finds Sophomore Success

Polished, pop-rock swagger combined with catchy singles like "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved" propelled Maroon 5 atop musical charts and made it one of the most popular bands this decade.

The group released its sophomore album, "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," this summer. Its first two singles climbed the charts, including "Makes Me Wonder," which served as a reminder the quintet had resurfaced with the same vigor and poppy-ness that launched it to super stardom.

Watch Maroon 5 perform live on "GMA" Friday, June 27 as part of the Summer Concert Series.

The song reached No. 1 on Billboard's Pop, Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs charts, while the follow-up single, "Wake Up Call," reached No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Contemporary Adult Tracks.


Lead singer Adam Levine, guitarist James Valentine, bass player Mickey Madden, drummer Matt Flynn and keyboardist Jesse Carmichael make up the band, which found a hit formula by lacing its modern-rock sound with R&B.

Maroon 5 had humble beginnings when three of the members met in a Los Angeles junior high school. Levine, Carmichael and Madden eventually formed Kara's Flowers, a grunge band where Levine's vocals were much grittier than they are today.

Before the group graduated high school, it had a record deal and released an album in 1997. The quartet, which included drummer Ryan Dusick, toured heavily to support its album. Yet, it failed to make a mark commercially. By 1999 the label dropped the band and the members headed off to college.

In school, Levine was introduced to different genres like R&B and hip-hop, which had a drastic influence on him and his musical interpretation. With the addition of Valentine in 2001 and a new name, Maroon Five geared up to record its debut album on a new label.

Its first major studio album, "Songs About Jane," was released in June 2002. The album, which was about Levine's ex-girlfriend, received a lukewarm response. In fact, it took 17 months for its single, "Harder to Breathe," to become a minor radio hit, but it did spur record sales.

The next track, "This Love," became omnipresent on stations across the country. Its super-sexy video, featuring a semi-nude Levine jockeying around the bed with his then-girlfriend, endeared the frontman to the female set.

The band had arrived and critics, as well as fans, noticed. Maroon 5 won two Grammys, including best new artist in 2005. The award often is the kiss of death for artists. But the band has bucked the sophomore slump and continued its commercial success, despite a lineup change.

Dusick left the band in 2006 because of injuries sustained from excessive touring and Flynn, who was his temporary replacement, became a permanent fixture as the juggernaut continued rolling.

Now with 10 million albums sold internationally, Maroon 5 has become a staple of the pop-culture set.