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Guns N’ Roses formed in Los Angeles in 1985. The classic lineup as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Today, Axl Rose is the only remaining original member, in a lineup that comprises Use Your Illusion–era keyboardist Dizzy Reed, lead guitarists DJ Ashba and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer, and keyboardist Chris Pitman. The band has released six studio albums to date, accumulating sales of more than 100 million records worldwide, including shipments of 45 million in the United States, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.
A year after its release, Guns N’ Roses’ debut album Appetite for Destruction (1987) reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, on the strength of the hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, their only single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units sold in the USA, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. The success of their debut was followed by the eight-song album G N’ R Lies (1988). The twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991) debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide (14 million in the United States). The cover album “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993) was the band’s last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan.
Guns N’ Roses have been credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock music, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and pop metal. Their late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described as the period in which they brought forth a “hedonistic rebelliousness” reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones, a reputation that had earned them the nickname “The Most Dangerous Band in the World”. The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, their first year of eligibility.
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