Devastating news for anyone who remembers the halcyon days of the "Top 8", a customised wallpaper, "thanks for the add" and overnight successes – one-time social media giant Myspace recently lost 12 years’ worth of music – over 50 million songs – during a server migration.
As millions of broken-hearted music lovers reminisce about the great and questionable bands they discovered on the platform, we look back at just a few of the chart successes helped along by their Myspace following, from record-breakers to the one-hit wonders.
Arctic Monkeys’ got their first big break on Myspace , but there's a twist. The Sheffield band were decidedly old-school, concentrating on writing, gigging and distributing demo CDs, so it was actually friends of theirs who set up their Myspace page, with fans later taking it upon themselves to share bootleg versions of tracks on forums. The band's growing following caught the attention of multiple major labels, but they ultimately signed to independents Domino in 2005.
Starting with debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, every single one of their six albums has gone straight in at Number 1, and they've had six Top 10 singles including two Number 1s – so you could say that Myspace page was worth the 20 minutes or so it took to set up.
While Lily had a couple of low-key record deals under her belt by the time Myspace came along, but when she released some of her previous demos on the social networking site, things took off pretty quickly.
She speedily built up tens of thousands of friends on the site, and soon those demos were on an album and the hits kept coming! To date Lily has clocked up three Number 1 singles including debut Smile in 2006, four Top 10 albums in thirteen years, and a whopping total 73 award nominations (including 31 wins!) Most recently her 2018 album No Shame received a Mercury Prize nomination.
Calvin Harris might well be one of the biggest Myspace successes the UK has ever seen. After a stint in London, he returned to his hometown in Dumfries and began uploading dance tracks and remixes to his profile. A label rep heard his music and Harris was signed to EMI and Sony BMG. From that debut single Acceptable In The 80s, Calvin has barely looked back. He’s picked up 10 Number 1s – making him the male solo artist with the third biggest number of chart-toppers behind Elvis, and Cliff Richard – 34 Top 40 singles, and holds the record for the most Number 1 singles this decade (eight). He's won two BRIT Awards, a Grammy and is one of the most sought-after DJs and producers in the world.
After spending a few years nurturing his Myspace fanbase, electro-dream-pop singer Adam Young hit Number 1 in the UK with Fireflies back in 2010.
So how did he do it? He recorded and uploaded tracks from his parents’ basement, responded to every message he received, and posted regular blogs and updates, creating a connection with his fans which ultimately got him signed in 2009. His major label debut Ocean Eyes was released the same year, reaching Number 7 in the Official Albums Chart in 2010.
He's continued to release music since, though only 2015 album The Midsummer Station has cracked the Top 40. Oh, and we mustn't forget 2012's Top 5 single Good Time with Carly Rae Jepsen.
Kate Nash quickly gained attention for her fun, quirky, relatable tracks uploaded to Myspace, including standout single Foundations, which went to Number 2 in 2007.
Her debut album Made Of Bricks went straight to Number 1 in August that year, leading to two nominations and a win at the 2008 BRITs.
Kate’s still actively recording and releasing music, and you can also catch her starring in Netflix series GLOW. She's also confirmed to perform at this year’s Mighty Hoopla festival in June.
Scottish singer-songwriter Sandi Thom had a novel approach to getting her nae out there – she played a 21-date tour in her own basement (capacity: 10) and streamed them, using Myspace to promote what she was up to. her signature song I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) had been released in 2005 but failed to chart, but now record labels were interested in her approach and a second chance at stardom awaited.
The polarising single was re-released in May 2006, and eventually climbed to Number 1. Only one more Top 40 hit followed, but Sandi did score a Number 1 album in 2007 with Smile, It Confuses People.
According to this great little video, Sean used Myspace in a few ways: starting off with basically spamming a producer with messages until he got a response. Like Owl City, he made sure he accepted every friend request, replied to as many messages as he could, and he kept his fans constantly updated with new music, news and mixtapes.
In the UK his debut single Beautiful Girls knocked Kanye West off Number 1 and stayed there for four weeks. He’s had a handful more Top 40 hits including Eenie Meenie (his collab with a teeny weenie Justin Bieber) and Party All Night (Sleep All Day), both of which peaked at Number 9.
When it comes to globally successful current artists, few can come close to the reach of Adele, and guess where she started out? The London-born singer was discovered when her friends uploaded recordings of her singing to Myspace back in the mid noughties, including this particular video which apparently led to her signing by XL Recordings:
Yes, the clip might be only a blur (it was filmed on a mobile phone from 2006) and, yes, you can only just about hear her signature vocals but, hey, it was enough for XL.
Of course, Adele is now one of the most successful artists of all time.
Her 2015 album 25 is the fastest-selling album of all time, shifting three million copies quicker than any other album ever. Her album 21 is the fourth biggest album of all time, and she has three of the biggest selling singles of all time! She’s not done too badly off the back of a few shaky Myspace uploads – who needs filters and HD?!
But that's not all…
Of course there were countless other charting acts we could list including – but not limited to – Bring Me The Horizon, You Me At Six and Skrillex (originally known for fronting post-hardcore band From First To Last, and looking like this… amazing.)