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Yungblud

Yungblud

English musician Yungblud twists genres and societal conventions, incorporating rock, punk, and hip-hop into a rebellious mix that has endeared him to the outcast masses around the globe. Blending punk spirit with pop savvy, he made a steady climb in the late 2010s before scoring a trio of hits with Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly, Dan Reynolds, and frequent collaborator Travis Barker. While his full-length debut, 21st Century Liability, landed in 2018, he made his mainstream breakthrough a year later with the EP The Underrated Youth. That burgeoning success helped push his 2020 sophomore LP, Weird!, to the top of the U.K. albums chart. In 2022, he rode the contemporary pop-punk revivalist wave with his third set, Yungblud.

Born Dominic Harrison in Yorkshire, the singer/songwriter was raised in a musical family. His father was a vintage guitar dealer and his grandfather played with T. Rex. Influenced by Bob Dylan, the Clash, and the Beatles, he played guitar and sang from a young age. In 2017, when he was 19, he issued his debut single, "King Charles," a genre-blending protest song that fell somewhere between early Arctic Monkeys, Jamie T, and Rat Boy. He followed with the song "I Love You, Will You Marry Me," which incorporated some dub and grime elements. A major-label deal with Geffen yielded Yungblud's first collection, an eponymous 2018 EP that included his first two singles alongside three new tracks. His debut full-length, 21st Century Liability, appeared in May of that year and made a solid chart showing in Australia and Belgium.

Yungblud returned in early 2019 with "Parents," "Loner," and "11 Minutes," the latter of which was a collaboration with Halsey and Travis Barker. Later that year, another track with Barker helped push Yungblud higher up the U.S. rock chart, this time with rapper Machine Gun Kelly on the raucous "I Think I'm Okay." Primed by these chart placements, he scored his first spot on the Billboard 200 at the end of the year with his third EP, The Underrated Youth, which included his third Top Ten single on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, "Original Me," featuring Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds. Rounding out 2019, Yungblud teamed with Marshmello and Blackbear on "Tongue Tied."

At the start of the next decade, he began a fresh blitz with the ecstatic pop of "Weird!" He later issued collaborations with rapper Denzel Curry ("Lemonade") and fellow Englishmen Bring Me the Horizon ("Obey"). Yungblud closed 2020 with the release of his official sophomore effort, Weird!, which topped the U.K. albums chart. He returned in 2021 with a stirring live cover of David Bowie's "Life on Mars," which was used as the soundtrack to NASA's livestream following the Perseverance Mars rover's touchdown. Yungblud started off 2022 with the fiery pop-punk single "The Funeral," following it with "Memories," a collaboration with fellow pop-punk revivalist Willow. His eponymously titled third album arrived later that year. Yungblud included those singles, as well as "Don't Feel Like Feeling Sad Today." He returned to his alt-rock roots in 2023 with the anthemic, inward-looking single "Lowlife." ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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