Coldplay are an English alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After forming Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a drummer, backing vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, completing the lineup. Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998, before recording and releasing three EPs; Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999 and The Blue Room in the same year. The latter was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.
The early material of the band was compared to acts such as Radiohead, U2, A-ha, and Travis. They achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single "Yellow" in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year, Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band's second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), was released to favourable reviews and won multiple awards, including NME's Album of the Year, and has been widely considered the best of the Nelson-produced Coldplay albums.