Snow Patrol are an alt-rock band formed in 1993, consisting of Gary Lightbody (vocals, guitar), Nathan Connolly (guitar, backing vocals), Paul Wilson (bass guitar, backing vocals), Jonny Quinn (drums), and Johnny McDaid (piano, guitar, backing vocals). Initially an indie rock band, the group rose to prominence in the early-mid 2000s as part of the alternative rock resurgence of interest.
The group was founded at the University of Dundee in 1993 by Lightbody, Michael Morrison, and Mark McClelland as Shrug. After briefly using the name Polar Bear and losing Morrison as a member, the band became Snow Patrol in 1997 and added Quinn to its line-up. Their first three records, the EP Starfighter Pilot (1997), and the studio albums Songs for Polarbears (1998) and When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up (2001), were commercially unsuccessful and were released by the independent labels Electric Honey and Jeepster. The band signed on to the major record label Polydor Records in 2002.
Connolly joined Snow Patrol in 2002, and after their major label debut, Final Straw, the following year, the group rose to national fame. The album was certified 5× platinum in the UK and eventually sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Their next studio album, Eyes Open (2006), and its hit single, "Chasing Cars", propelled the band to greater international fame. The album topped the UK Albums Chart and was the best-selling British album of the year, selling over 6 million copies worldwide. In 2008, the band released their fifth studio album, A Hundred Million Suns; then, in 2009, they released their first compilation album, Up to Now; and, in 2011, released their sixth studio album, Fallen Empires.
During the course of their career, Snow Patrol have won seven Meteor Ireland Music Awards and have been nominated for six Brit Awards. Since the release of Final Straw, the band have sold over 13 million albums worldwide.