They’re twins! No, not Joel and Luke Smallbone, the Australian brothers who are at the core of the band for KING & COUNTRY. We’re talking about the dual Grammy trophies that the band took home in February 2015, triumphing in both of their nominated categories with their sophomore album, Run Wild. Live Free. Run Strong. “When we won those awards, it was obviously shocking,” says Luke Smallbone, noting the better-established acts they were up against. “The songs from the album are very personal and maybe the Grammy voters could sense that?” Naturally, the guys in for KING & COUNTRY weren’t actually doing it for glory or Grammy, but if their candor happens to be validated with kudos, they’ll take it.
The awards came at the peak of a heady season for the brothers, who first caught the attention of the mainstream in America around the time that Billboard magazine named them one of the publication’s “New Artists to Watch for 2012.” They made good on that prophecy with a debut album, Crave that made them not just a blip on the radar, but put for KING & COUNTRY on the map with 410,000 track sales and 9.5 million streams. Two years later, Run Wild. Live Free. Run Strong. celebrated an even stronger start out of the gate. The sophomore effort debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 2 on iTunes; the lead single, “Fix My Eyes,” reached the top spot on several radio formats and landed the band on The Today Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. But when they won those Grammys, they were humbled… and not just in the 21st-century, figurative sense of the word.
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