American singer-songwriter Aaron Bruno, whose nickname at school was Awol due to his habit of disappearing without saying goodbye, formed AWOLNATION in Los Angeles in 2009 after he was approached by Red Bull Records. He had performed previously with the bands Under the Influence of Giants and Home Town Hero. With a line-up that featured guitarist Jimmy Messer, bass player Billy Mohler, drummer Hayden Scott and guitarist Kenny Carkeet, the outfit released an EP titled Back from Earth in 2010, followed by their debut album Megalith Symphony in 2011. It went to number nine on Billboard's Independent Albums Chart, number 16 on Alternative Albums and number 21 on Top Rock Albums. Singles from the album included “Sail”, which peaked at number three on Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart, “Not Your Fault”, which went to number eleven, and “Kill Your Heroes”, number 16. “Sail” was covered by Macy Gray on her album Covered and DevilDriver on their album Winter Kills, and it was heard in commercials and videos, earning sleeper hit status and eventually obtaining sextuple platinum certification in the US. The band toured extensively for three years with 306 appearances and their song “I'm On Fire” was used on the soundtrack of the 2015 feature film Fifty Shades of Grey, reaching number 13 on the Hot Rock Songs Chart. The line-up went through several changes and in 2015, the album Run went to number two on the Independent Albums Chart, number three on Alternative Albums, number four on Top Rock Albums, and number 17 on the Billboard 200. Singles included “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”, which peaked at number eleven on the Hot Rock Songs chart, “I Am”, number 18, “Run”, number 26 and “Woman Woman” number 28. The single “Passion” reached number 35 on the Hot Rock Songs Chart in 2017 from their third album titled Here Come the Runts, which was released in February 2018. After supporting Twenty One Pilots on tour and changing labels, the group returned in 2019 with a new single entitled “The Best”. Their fourth LP, Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders, followed in April 2020. In spite of a high-profile feature from Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, it failed to come close to the commercial success of its predecessors, and was notably absent from the Billboard 200.

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