The Chainsmokers

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The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers VELD 2016.jpg
The Chainsmokers performing at the 2016 VELD Music Festival
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, US
Years active 2012 (2012)–present
Website ‹See Tfm›
  • Andrew Taggart
  • Alex Pall
Past members
  • Rhett Bixler

The Chainsmokers are an American DJ duo consisting of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall.

The duo had a top twenty single in several countries with their 2014 song "#Selfie" reaching number sixteen on the US Billboard Hot 100, number three in Australia, and number eleven in the United Kingdom. They released their debut EP, Bouquet, in October 2015. Their following singles "Roses" and "Don't Let Me Down" reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] while "Closer", featuring vocals from Halsey, became their first number one single on the chart.[2]

Early life[edit]

Alexander Pall was born in 1985 to an art dealer father and stay-at-home mother. He is of French descent, and grew up in Westchester County, New York. Andrew Taggart was born in 1989 to a teacher mother and a father who sold prosthetics. He is of Scottish descent, and was raised in Freeport, Maine. He was turned onto to EDM at the age of 15 while abroad in Argentina, where he was introduced to the music of David Guetta, Daft Punk and Trentemøller.[3]


The Chainsmokers were initially made up of Pall and former DJ Rhett Bixler.[4]

The Chainsmokers were formed as an EDM DJ duo in 2012 under the management of Adam Alpert in New York City. Pall, who had grown up DJing, was introduced to Taggart by Alpert, and had been working at an art gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan at the time.[4] Pall attended New York University for art history and music business.[5] Taggart had been attending Syracuse University and was interning at Interscope Records before the two met. He had taken an interest in DJing and released some original songs on the website SoundCloud. Taggart was informed by someone working for Alpert that a duo that was being managed by him had an open spot after Bixler left, which prompted Taggart to leave Maine in order to go to New York City.[6] They started out by making remixes of indie bands.[7] In 2012, they collaborated with Indian actress and recording artist Priyanka Chopra on the single "Erase" which was followed by "The Rookie" in early 2013.[8]

The duo's first live performance was opening for Timeflies at Terminal 5 in September 2014.[5] Their single "#Selfie", released for free in December 2013, was picked up by Dim Mak Records who re-released it in January 2014 and eventually streamed it to Republic Records.[9] The duo achieved breakthrough success as the single charted internationally and peaked on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart.[10] Pall has described the song as "life-changing" for the pair.[11] On August 5, 2014, The Chainsmokers released "Kanye" featuring sirenXX, the follow-up to "#Selfie". Seven months later, they released "Let You Go", featuring the American synthpop group, Great Good Fine Ok.[12] They signed with Disruptor Records, a joint venture label with Sony Music Entertainment by their manager Adam Alpert, in April 2015.[13]

The Chainsmokers released their first EP titled Bouquet, featuring "New York City", "Until You Were Gone", "Waterbed", "Good Intentions", and "Roses".[14] Their follow-up single "Don't Let Me Down", was released on February 5, 2016, featuring the singer Daya.[9] Two months later, they released the single, "Inside Out", featuring the Swedish singer Charlee.

On March 19, 2016, the group played at Ultra Music Festival,[15] where they publicly denounced presidential candidate Donald Trump.[16] On July 29, 2016, they released "Closer" featuring singer Halsey, which peaked at number one in the United States and United Kingdom, in addition to charts in eleven other countries.[2] The track was also performed at the 2016 MTV VMAs.[17] The performance was met with mostly negative reception. Multiple publications including The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Us Weekly referred to the performance as the worst of the night.[18][19][20] Taggart himself stated in an interview with Billboard that "It sounded like shit."[3] "All We Know" featuring Phoebe Ryan was released on September 29, 2016.[21] In October 2016, The Chainsmokers were ranked 18th in DJ Magazine's annual list of the "Top 100 DJs"[22] after debuting on the list at 97th in 2014.[23]

The two have stated that they have no plans to release a debut album.[24]

Personal life[edit]

In a 2014 interview with AskMen, the duo described themselves as binge drinkers, and said that they went out to drink nearly every night.[11]


Taggart has described the duo's music as "blur[ring] the lines between indie, pop music, dance music, and hip-hop."[6]


A September 2016 interview with Billboard revealed that a quote from their website, which read "17.34 inches...think about it", was actually the combined length of Pall's and Taggart's penises. Pall also stated that "Even before success, pussy was number one," and the two described the band Weezer as being "thirsty" and the duo LMFAO as "dressing like idiots". While discussing the 2016 MTV VMAs, Taggart made claims that other performers at the event lip-synced during their performances.[3][25][26] Various publications referred to the interview as "cringeworthy".[27][28][29]

In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Pall said that Lady Gaga's song "Perfect Illusion" "sucks" and called producer Deadmau5 "a dick".[30][31] Several media outlets criticized the comments, calling them "rude", some also noting a comment which seemed to imply that Rihanna did not have work ethic.[32][33][34]


The pair have cited Pharrell Williams and Deadmau5 as musical influences.[5][35]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Electronic Music Dance Song #Selfie Nominated
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice Music Group The Chainsmokers
iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards iHeartRadio International Duo or Group[36]
Billboard Music Awards Best Dance/Electronic Artist[37]
Top Dance/Electronic Song "Roses"
MTV Video Music Awards Best Electronic Video[38] "Don't Let Me Down"
Latin American Music Awards Favorite Dance Song[39]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best New Act[40] The Chainsmokers Pending
American Music Awards New Artist of the Year
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group
Favorite Electronic/Dance Music Artist
Collaboration of the Year "Don't Let Me Down"


  1. ^ "Justin Bieber Replaces Himself at No. 1 on Hot 100 With 'Love Yourself'". Billboard. 
  2. ^ a b "The Chainsmokers & Halsey's 'Closer' Climbs to No. 1 on Hot 100". Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Martins, Chris. "The Chainsmokers on Ruling the Billboard Hot 100 & Owning the 'Frat Bro' Label". Billboard. Retrieved October 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "The Chainsmokers: Party People". Thought Catalog. August 25, 2010. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Alvodomar, Tyler. "The Chainsmokers Talk Early Beginnings, Favorite Gigs To Play, Love Of Music Blogs And Yoga Pants (Exclusive Interview)". Raver Rafting. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Rosenzweig, Mathias. "The Chainsmokers". Interview Magazine. Retrieved October 12, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Rise of The Chainsmokers: How Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall went from remixes to chart toppers". Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Priyanka Chopra: The girl who leapt through time". Hindustan Times. October 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Listen to The Chainsmokers' New Single, 'Don't Let Me Down' Feat. Daya". 
  10. ^ "The Chainsmokers - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Morris, David. "What's It Like To Be An EDM Star & Trash Hotel Rooms? The Chainsmokers Know". AskMen. Retrieved October 14, 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Chainsmokers and Miguel Delight During Grammy Week". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  13. ^ "Exclusive: Sony Music Forms Disruptor With Chainsmokers Manager". Billboard. 
  14. ^ "The Chainsmokers On Rising Hit "Roses," Debut EP 'Bouquet' & Leaving "#Selfie" Behind: Idolator Interview - Idolator". Idolator. 23 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Rishty, David. "Watch Kaskade, The Chainsmokers, Carnage & More Play at Ultra Music Festival 2016". Billboard. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  16. ^ Brown, Lisa. "The Chainsmokers Denounce Donald Trump at Ultra Music Festival". Billboard. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  17. ^ Lakshmin, Deepa. "The Chainsmokers Couldn't Keep Their Hands Off Halsey At The VMAs". MTV. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  18. ^ Caramanica, Jon (August 29, 2016). "MTV Video Music Awards, a Playground for the Next Generation". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  19. ^ Chen, Joyce. "2016 MTV VMAs Performances, Ranked From Best to Worst". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  20. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R.; Shteamer, Hank; Exposito, Suzy; Harris, Keith; Johnson, Maura. "MTV VMAs 2016: 20 Best and Worst Moments". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  21. ^ "All We Know (feat. Phoebe Ryan) - Single by The Chainsmokers on Apple Music". iTunes Store (US). September 30, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Top 100 DJs 2016". DJ Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  23. ^ "Top 100 DJs 2014 |". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  24. ^ Savage, Mark (September 23, 2016). "Playlists 'more popular than albums'". BBC News. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  25. ^ Schillaci, Sophie. "The Chainsmokers Blast MTV VMAs Over Failed Performance: 'Nearly Every Other Person Lip-Synced'". Entertainment Tonight. 
  26. ^ Abad-Santos, Alex (September 15, 2016). "The Chainsmokers know they sounded bad at the VMAs. The lesson? Always lip-sync.". Vox. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  27. ^ Wolfe, Natalie. "Did the Chainsmokers just give the world's cringiest interview?". News Corp Australia. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  28. ^ Finger, Bobby. "Billboard's Profile of The Chainsmokers Is All About Two Dicks and Their Two Dicks". Jezebel. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ Bacardi, Francesca. "The Chainsmokers' Billboard Cover Story Will Make You Cringe". E! Online. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  30. ^ Weiner, Jonah. "Chainsmokers: How Hard-Partying EDM Dudes Conquered the Mainstream". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  31. ^ Brandle, Lars. "The Chainsmokers Talk Lady Gaga, Rihanna & Chris Martin Collab in New Interview". Billboard. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  32. ^ Herbert, Geoff. "The Chainsmokers diss Rihanna, Gaga; Selena Gomez rehab; O-Town returns: AM Buzz". Syracuse. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  33. ^ Iadarola, Alexander. "The Chainsmokers Said They "Basically Brain-Raped" Calvin Harris | Thump". Thump. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  34. ^ Hughes, Hilary. "The Chainsmokers Are Straight-Up Rude About Lady Gaga And Rihanna". MTV News. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  35. ^ Leight, Elias. "How The Chainsmokers Landed the Number One Hit in the Country". Vogue. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  36. ^ "List of iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards nominees". NEWS 1130. May 18, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  37. ^ Billboard Staff. "Billboard Music Awards 2016: Complete Winners List". Billboard. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  38. ^ Geffen, Sasha. "Get Ready: Your 2016 VMA Nominations Are Here". MTV. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  39. ^ Marti, Diana. "2016 Latin American Music Awards: Complete List of Nominations". E! News. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  40. ^ Bacardi, Francesca. "2016 MTV Europe Music Awards Nominations Announced". E! News. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 

External links[edit]