Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh rock band formed in 1986 in Blackwood, Wales and consisting of James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals, lead guitar), Nicky Wire (bass guitar, lyrics) and Sean Moore (drums, percussion). They are often colloquially known as "The Manics." After the release of their first single, "Suicide Alley", Richey Edwards joined the band as co-lyricist and rhythm guitarist. The band proclaimed their debut album Generation Terrorists would be the "greatest rock album ever" and hoped to sell sixteen million copies around the world, "from Bangkok to Senegal", after which they would split up. Despite the album's failure to meet this level of success, the band carried on with their career.
The group later became a trio when Edwards disappeared on 1 February 1995. Bradfield, Moore and Wire went on to gain critical and commercial success. The band have released twelve albums and three compilations, Forever Delayed, Lipstick Traces (A Secret History of Manic Street Preachers) and National Treasures – The Complete Singles. Their early combination of androgynous glam imagery, critical social lyrics about "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" and a furious rock sound gained them a loyal following over the years and assured them a cult status. The band's later albums retained a leftist politicisation and intellectual lyrical style while adopting a broader alternative rock sound. To date, they have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.
Over their career the Manics have headlined several festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and Reading. They have won eleven NME Awards, eight Q Awards and four BRIT Awards. The Manics were also nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1996 and 1999, and have had one nomination for the MTV Europe Music Awards. The group has reached number 1 in the UK charts three times: in 1998 with the album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, and the single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" and again in 2000 with the single "The Masses Against the Classes".