42 Facts About Coldplay

Mathew Burke

Coldplay is a British rock band formed in 1996 by lead singer and keyboardist Chris Martin. The band has sold over 93 million records worldwide and continues to actively release music.

Here are 42 things you may not know about Coldplay.

Coldplay Facts

42. Lights

For their 2011 Mylo Xyloto tour, the band spent a reported £4.22 million to give out wristbands which changed colour in time with the music. Way better than a t-shirt.

Coldplay FactsShutterstock

41. Backwards

Chris Martin had to learn to sing ‘The Scientist’ backwards for the video. He learned the phonetic movements to create the illusion he was singing the words correctly. Go watch the video again, we’ll wait.

40. Tunes

Originally, Coldplay wanted to create an animated film with the main character being Mylo Xyloto, and the music would serve as a soundtrack, but they realized this would take too long. Fans didn’t seem to mind as they got to see the band sooner than expected.

39. Exclusive

After doing a duet with Rihanna, on Princess of China, the band has no desire to collaborate again. Chris Martin said: “Rihanna was the only name on the list. It’s the only duet we’ve done and the only one we wanted to do.” This doesn’t include songs that Chris has made guest appearances on.

38. Stealthy

Chris Martin once travelled to Coldplay’s show at the O2 on the subway. He was surrounded by a lot of Coldplay fans, and nobody recognized him. A good reminder to look up from your phone once in awhile.

37. Lampooned

Coldplay was compared to the Nazis on Peep Show (a British Sitcom). “There was even a joke on Peep Show about how millions of people like Coldplay and millions of people like the Nazis,” said Martin.

Coldplay Facts Getty Images

36. Gifts

In 2011 Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin appeared on Ellen. As a gift they gave her the head of the elephant suit used in the video for ‘Paradise.’ That’s a gift that Ellen won’t soon forget.

35. Original

Coldplay haven’t always been called ‘Coldplay.’ Their original name was Starfish. The music would most likely have been the same so, what’s in a name?

34. Charitable

In 2009, Coldplay auctioned some personal memorabilia and raised £251,482 for a children’s charity. Jonny Buckland’s Viva Thinline ’72 Telecaster guitar sold for £15,000.

33. Charitable Part II

Chris Martin spent £400,000 on a piece of Banksy artwork at Sean Penn’s charity event, raising money for Haiti earthquake victims.

31. Famous Fans

Barack Obama listens to Coldplay on his iPod. Chris Martin said: “’I met Barack Obama in the summer and one thing he said to me was “Oh, I have your songs on my iPod.” When presidents are listening to you, you’re doing something right.

30. Dress Down

When asked what his favourite thing about being in Coldplay was in 2008, Guy replied “It’s a real privilege to wake up and not have to put on a suit and tie.” Chris said his favourite thing was waiting for Madame Tussauds to call.

29. Behind The Scenes

They refer to their manager as their “secret fifth member no one sees”. Cloak and daggers, no doubt.

28. School Days

The band all met in 1996 during their first week of attending University in London. Jonny and Chris started the band with the others joining a bit later. They went on to record their first EP two years later. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that the band would release their breakout hit ‘Yellow.’

27. Sing Along

In a 2008 interview, Chris Martin stated that he wanted to see more Coldplay songs in karaoke books. “Whenever I open a karaoke book, there’s always a million Beatles song, and like two Coldplay ones.” Don’t we all, Chris?

26. Wait For Me!

At the Sound Relief show in Australia, Guy was worried that Chris wouldn’t make it back to the stage after jumping into the crowd. Chris had decided to try and make his way to the very back of the stadium and back to the stage. Chris made it back and the show continued.

Coldplay Facts

25. Good Aim

On the TV show Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year, Chris had to use a T-shirt gun to shoot a Coldplay t-shirt through a window. He scored and in return Hamish and Andy had to wear Coldplay promotional t-shirts for the remainder of their chat show.

24. Famous Fans Part II

Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland both made cameo appearances in the film Shaun of the Dead. Chris also contributed to the soundtrack with a Buzzcocks song, ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays’.

23. Radioplay

On BBC Radio 1, Fearne Cotton got to play the world premier of their new single, ‘Every Tear Drop Is A Waterfall’. She loved the track so much, she played it twice in a row. She wasn’t the only one.

22. Too Many Cooks

Chris Martin’s wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, does all the cooking in their house as Chris is a disaster in the kitchen. She told Graham Norton “He cooked twice and both times the fire brigade came.” Stick to making music, Chris.

21. Fair Is Fair

The band operates in a democratic way. Not one member earns any more than the others. All profits and proceeds are shared equally among the members. Equality really is the best way to go.

Coldplay Facts Getty Images

20. Taken

Chris Martin has only ever been in one serious relationship, and that’s with his wife. He said, “It is a big leap, from being a loser to going out with an Oscar winner. It’s a giant leap; it’s like winning the lottery.” Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

19. Freedom

‘Violet Hill’ was their first single off of ‘Viva la Vida..’ purely by accident. They wanted to give the track out for free but their record label would only let them do this for a week. ‘Viva La Vida’ was meant to be the first single.

18. Behind The Scenes Part II

Chris Martin DJ’d at an Arcade Fire show in London, alongside Win Butler. He wore a skeleton mask so nobody in the audience would recognise him, and so the attention wouldn’t be taken away from Arcade Fire. We’re onto you DJ Skull Mask!

17. Just Enjoy The Show

Chris Martin put a pause in a Coldplay show in 2011, due to a tambourine-playing fan in the audience. He said “Let me be honest with you, we tried tambourine on the recording and had to scrap it – so we have been playing it for 10 years with no tambourine. It probably sounds great, but I’m just used to it without tambourine. Don’t take it personally.”

16. Uh Oh

Joe Satriani filed a plagiarism lawsuit against Coldplay claiming that their hit ‘Viva La Vida’ stole segments of his song ‘If I Could Fly’. The case was settled out of court. Martin said: “I find this topic hard to navigate because it makes me so emotional. All I will say in closing this is that I don’t steal people’s music, and I never will.”

15. Anger Issues

In 2003, Chris Martin got arrested for attacking paparazzi in Australia by smashing the windshield of their car. He later attacked paparazzi in New York in 2008. He apparently shouted “Get the f—- out of here, man — have some respect.” Can you blame the guy?

14. First Place

Coldplay’s first full-length album, ‘Parachutes’, won ‘Best Alternative Music Album’ at the 2002 Grammy awards. They chose parachutes to combat their reputation for being depressing, because parachutes save you as you fall to Earth.

13. How Many?

There are 5 different versions of the song, ‘Lost!’.  They are ‘Lost+’, ‘Lost@’, ‘Lost?’, ‘Lost-’ and ‘Lost!’ Now we’re just confused.

12. First Edition

The first ever Coldplay recordings took place in 1998, culminating in the EP, ‘Safety.’ Only 500 copies of this were ever produced. Copies of ‘Safety’ sell for $80 to $300.

Coldplay Facts Getty Images

11. Decorated

The band has won a total of 58 awards throughout their career, including 4 Billboard Music Awards, 7 Grammy Awards and 8 Brit Awards. How big are their mantles?

10. Weather Permitting

The music video to the song, ‘Yellow’ is not what it is meant to be. The rain restricted recording and so the music video was filmed in just 20 minutes.

9. Sell Outs

The Coca – Cola company asked Coldplay if they could use the song, ‘Trouble’ in a TV advertisement for Diet Coke. The company that makes Gatorade reportedly offered Coldplay 9 Million dollars to use the song ‘Yellow’ in one of their commercials. Coldplay rejected both offers.

8. Family Man

Chris Martin says that he wrote the song, ‘Speed of Sound’, in an attempt to capture all his feelings from the birth of his daughter, Apple. The song, ‘Fix You’ was written as a present to Chris Martin’ wife after the death of her father.

7. Extras

Coldplay released a small side album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft as part of a promotion to their, Viva La Vida tour. The 9-Track live compilation featured recordings of songs from the tour. It was put up free for download from and a hard copy was also given away free at concerts for most of the tour. Still better than a t-shirt.

Coldplay Facts Getty Images

6. Official

The 13th of January is known amongst Coldplay fans as St.Odes day. It is to commemorate the the 13th of January, 2006, where a fan, who had purchased an original ‘Ode to Deodorant’ (Coldplay’s first ever song, intended to be a joke) demo tape from Ebay, leaked the song onto the Internet.

5. Diet Restrictions

Before one of their live performances on the, “Viva La Vida” tour, the band were provided with a Beef Stroganoff for their dinner. However, because Chris Martin is a vegetarian, he had to be catered for separately. Maybe Chris read our Global Warming facts list.

4. Multilingual

Chris Martin can apparently speak “Devonian”, which he claims is “farm language”. Devonian isn’t officially recognized as a language, but some consider it a dialect of South England.

3. Odd One

They get nervous about making odd number albums, and thought that their fifth (Mylo Xyloto) would be a nightmare. The album was a huge success and proved them wrong.

2. Stressed Out

Once Coldplay had signed to EMI records, they began to produce their 3rd EP, The Blue Room. During these recordings, drummer Will Champion walked out on the band for a week. Chris Martin, a non-drinker, responded by becoming highly intoxicated. Coldplay created a rule for themselves that states, “Any member of the band caught using hard drugs will be dismissed immediately”.

1. Virgin Territory

Chris Martin lost his virginity at 22. He says that “There were religious issues and stuff like that. Also confidence. I had a tricky time with girls.”

Coldplay Facts Getty Images
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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