Ben McKee

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Ben McKee
Ben McKee - Ilosaarirock 2013 2.jpg
McKee performing in 2013
Background information
Birth nameBenjamin Arthur McKee
Born (1985-04-07) April 7, 1985 (age 34)
Forestville, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2009–present
Associated actsImagine Dragons

Benjamin Arthur McKee (born April 7, 1985) is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is the bassist for the pop rock band Imagine Dragons.

Early life[edit]

McKee was raised in Forestville, California, and graduated from El Molino High School.[1] He grew up playing acoustic guitar and violin, before picking up acoustic bass in fifth grade. In high school, he continued learning bass guitar as a member of a jazz trio, which influenced his decision to attend Berklee College of Music.[2][3] While at Berklee, McKee played in a guitar performance ensemble with future Imagine Dragons bandmates Wayne Sermon and Daniel Platzman.[4]


Imagine Dragons[edit]

In 2009, McKee was invited by Wayne Sermon to join Imagine Dragons, based out of Las Vegas. McKee dropped out of his final semester at Berklee to join the band, inviting Daniel Platzman to play drums, completing the lineup. The band relocated to Las Vegas performing and honing their craft nearly nightly as a lounge act.[5][6][7] The band proceeded to earn a number of local accolades including "Best CD of 2011" (Vegas SEVEN),[8] "Best Local Indie Band 2010" (Las Vegas Weekly),[9] "Las Vegas' Newest Must See Live Act" (Las Vegas CityLife),[10] and more sent the band on a positive trajectory. In November 2011 they signed with Interscope Records and began working with producer Alex da Kid.[11]

In 2012 their debut album Night Visions brought the band mainstream success. It reached #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and won the Billboard Music Award for Best Rock Album (2014). Single "It's Time" became the band's first single reaching #15 Billboard Hot 100 and certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. Second single "Radioactive" reached #3 Billboard Hot 100 and was certified diamond by the RIAA, becoming the best selling rock song in the history of Nielsen SoundScan. Third single "Demons" reached #6 Billboard Hot 100 and was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. Their album made the highest debut for a new rock band in six years (since 2006) and single Radioactive set a new record for longest time atop the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart with 23 consecutive weeks.[12] Tracks from the album topped the Billboard Rock Songs, Billboard Alternative Songs, and Billboard Pop Songs charts. Radioactive was also nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.[13]

In 2015, Imagine Dragons' second album Smoke + Mirrors reached #1 on the Billboard 200, UK Albums Chart, and Canadian Albums Chart.[14][15] Singles include "I Bet My Life" and "Shots".[16][17]

The band has contributed songs to several film soundtracks, including "Ready Aim Fire" for Iron Man 3, "Who We Are" for Hunger Games: Catching Fire and "Battle Cry" for Transformers: Age of Extinction. In addition, in September 2014, "Warriors" was released by Riot Games along with an animated music video promoting the League of Legends World Championships.[18][19][20][21]


  1. ^ Beck, John. Imagine Dragons bass player's road from Forestville to BottleRock, Press Democrat, May 23, 2015.
  2. ^ "Opening Doors: Imagine Dragons' Bassist, Ben McKee, talks about the band's exciting journey". March 26, 2012.
  3. ^ "Berklee College of Music". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "Staff Pick: Imagine Dragons (Interview)". Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Imagine Dragons Talk New Album and Growing Up in Las Vegas". Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "The Weekly chat: The Killers' Dave Keuning and Imagine Dragons' Wayne Sermon-together". Las Vegas Weekly. October 24, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Holy roller: Dan Reynolds interview | London Evening Standard". November 8, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "Vegas Seven 07-28-2011". July 28, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "2010 Vegas' Best Arts & Entertainment winners". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "Las Vegas CityLife". Las Vegas CityLife. July 2, 2009. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "Vegas band Imagine Dragons sign with Interscope". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  12. ^ "Imagine Dragons Blaze Into #2 Spot On Billboard Chart – MTV". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "Imagine Dragons pick up a pair of Grammy nominations – Las Vegas Weekly". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Moss, Liv (February 22, 2015). "Imagine Dragons claim first UK Number 1 album". Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  15. ^ Billboard (February 25, 2015). "Imagine Dragons Slay at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Imagine Dragons Release Bombastic New Song From Upcoming Album". SPIN.
  17. ^ Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY (October 27, 2014). "Song of the Week: Imagine Dragons' 'I Bet My Life'".
  18. ^ Kevin Jagernauth (March 29, 2013). "'Iron Man 3' Soundtrack Features Passion Pit, Imagine Dra | The Playlist" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. The Playlist.
  19. ^ "Imagine Dragons' 'Who We Are' from 'Catching Fire' soundtrack – listen". Hypable.
  20. ^ "Imagine Dragons Discuss 'Battle Cry,' Breaking Records & Making New Music | Billboard". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Imagine Dragons". Billboard.

External links[edit]