In an industry known for partying hard, "Mormon rock star" might seem like an oxymoron--but not for these Church members who are rocking the music scene! Check out these rock 'n' roll celebrities who are also LDS.
Ryan Raddon, aka Kaskade, is probably the hottest music phenom you've never heard of. In 2011 the New York Times declared the Grammy-nominated DJ/music producer the "new face of electronic dance music." This faithful Church member and father of three married his wife, Naomi, after serving his mission in Japan. Kaskade fills stadiums all over the world and commands a salary of more than $200,000 per night. Yes, you read that right.
Brandon Flowers, Frontman of The Killers
Beloved for his role as the charismatic lead singer of the rock band The Killers, as well as for his solo work, Brandon Flowers is a favorite among Mormons. Though there were times when Flowers struggled with Church standards, he recently created an I'm a Mormon video (see below). Flowers has performed with such music legends as U2, Elton John, and Bruce Springsteen. He is married with three children.
This alternative rock band from Provo, Utah, made a big splash in 2011 as a finalist in Rolling Stone's "Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star?" competition for unsigned bands. Later that year, the band signed with Atlantic Records. All five members are returned missionaries who met each other at Brigham Young University.
"Outside of Utah, we are a bit of a novelty," Stuart Maxfield, lead singer, told LDS Living. "But I try not to think too much about it. Really, what I am out to do is write beautiful songs that connect with people. I am not trying to be preachy, but at the same time, I don't try to avoid gospel topics in my songs or anything like that. . . . So when people listen to them, if they sound like they are religious, it is what it is. I am not trying to be anything but honest, to be genuine."
Dan Reynolds and Wayne Sermon of Imagine Dragons
Dan Reynolds and Wayne Sermon of the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons (middle two)
The wildly successful alternative rock band Imagine Dragons, which includes Church members Dan Reynolds (lead singer) and Wayne Sermon, has experienced an unusually quick journey to the top of the charts. The Las Vegas band's first hit, "It's Time," got major airplay in 2012, and the band has been going strong since.
The band's second studio album, Smoke + Mirrors, reached #1 on the Billboard 200. Billboard named them The Breakthrough Band of 2013, and Rolling Stone named their single "Radioactive" the biggest rock hit of the year. The song also broke Billboard records by spending an astounding 87 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
Imagine Dragons has won two American Music Awards for Favorite Alternative Artist, a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, five Billboard Music Awards, and a World Music Award. In May 2014, the band was nominated for a total of fourteen different Billboard Music Awards, including Top Artist of the Year and a Milestone Award.
Their songs have been included on soundtracks for Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Dallon Weekes, bass guitarist, backing vocalist for Panic! At the Disco
Thirty-three-year-old Dallon Weekes was born in Missouri but grew up in Clearfield, Utah. He served a mission in Oklahoma, and shortly afterward founded the band The Brobecks. Weekes was offered a contract by SonyBMG if he would drop his bandmates--an offer he declined.
In 2009, Weekes was hired to provide bass, synthesizer, and backup vocals for rock band Panic At the Disco! on a temporary basis. The next year, he was asked to join the band indefinitely. The band has been nominated for several MTV Music Video awards, as well as two Grammys. Weekes is married with two children.
Neon Trees, the spunky pop-rock band known for its bright clothing and danceable songs, consists of four Church members. In 2008, the band was the opening act for The Killers (whose lead singer is also LDS), and in 2010 their first single, "Animal," climbed to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Alternative Rock chart. Two of the band's songs, "Animal" and "Everybody Talks," have been featured on the hit TV show Glee, and "Everybody Talks" was featured in a commercial for the 2012 Buick Verano.
Frontman Tyler Glenn made waves when he recently revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that he was gay. In the media frenzy that followed, Glenn told NPR, "I think I've definitely received some positivity, but there are also those comments: 'How can you say you're Mormon and also gay?' And maybe that's the thing that doesn't make sense to people. But to me it makes sense to say, 'I'm figuring it out.'"
Soon after Glenn's announcement, drummer Elaine Bradley was featured in an I'm a Mormon video (see below). She married her husband, Sebastian, in the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple in 2011 and is the mother of one child.