The Eli Young Band began their ambitious career in 2000 and released their first self-titled album in 2002. With a handful of albums under their belt, the group is working on releasing their sixth studio album sometime in 2017 and will be their third major label full-length LP. Since their career gradually grew, they've earned the praise of the country music world. They're nominated for Vocal Group of the Year at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 2, 2017, the 11th nomination the quartet has received since their first major label debut Jet Black & Jealous. Here's 5 things you didn't know about the Eli Young Band.
In 2000, University of North Texas students Mike Eli and James Young came together after being freshman dorm roommates as an acoustic duo by the name of Eli & Young. Soon after, Jon Jones and Chris Thompson joined the two and the "&" was dropped and "band" was added to reflect their newly formed full band. They then released their first album, a self-titled set and eventually were picked up on radio stations in the U.S. It was word of mouth through social media that found this band emerging.
In 2011, the Eli Young Band released their first major label debut Life at Best. The single "Crazy Girl" climbed to the top of the Hot Country Songs chart and peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, the bowdown of all songs tallies. The song went double Platinum and was their first to reach Platinum status. Impressively, "Crazy Girl" topped the Billboard Year-End chart. In 2012, the Eli Young Band was nominated in several categories at the Academy of Country Music Awards. They took home one of the top honors for Song of the Year.
In 2014, the band's successes began picking up following Life at Best. 10,000 Towns bested that set and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. In a typically slow period for music sales and activity, it opened with 36,000 copies sold. Their previous album was met with 35,000 copies sold, a time when streaming units and track downloads were not factored into the Top 200 formula.
4. The Eli Young Band has three No. 1 country singles thus far in their career
Along with "Crazy Girl" reaching No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, follow-up single "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" from Life at Best landed them a second chart topper in 2012. "Heart" outdid "Girl" on the Hot 100 by one position in at No. 29. It was "Drunk Last Night" that in 2013 they landed their first airplay leader and both songs were certified Platinum.
When the four band members were in college together, creating music was nothing more than recreation. Their career has been coincidences lining up one by one over the last 17 years. At that time, music was just fun and a side gig as they pursued degrees in various fields. For the Eli Young Band, they were not label manufactured nor did they ever push for something that wasn't there. Instead, their bond and love of music grew organically into a band that has reached the No. 1 position.