Coldplay is a band from London, England. Having released three successful albums, Coldplay has also achieved great success with their singles, such as "Yellow", "Speed of Sound" and the Grammy-winning "Clocks".
Coldplay's early material was often compared to the likes of Dave Matthews, Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of the band's debut album Parachutes (2000), Coldplay has also drawn influence from other sources, including Echo and the Bunnymen and George Harrison on A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) and Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y (2005), the band's latest release.
Coldplay is one of very few current British music acts to achieve major success in North America. Despite Coldplay's large worldwide popularity, the band has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for product endorsements. In the past, Coldplay turned down multi-million dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke, and The Gap, who wanted to use the songs "Yellow", "Trouble", and "Don't Panic" respectively. According to Martin, "We wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs' meanings like that."
Since 2002, Coldplay have been active supporters of various social and political causes. They have been visible advocates of Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group has also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Coldplay is a supporter of Amnesty International; frontman Chris Martin is also noted one of the most visible celebrity advocates for "fair trade", supporting Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign until its dissolution in 2005 after the concert Live 8 (which Coldplay played at) and the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. Martin has been on trips with Oxfam to assess conditions, has appeared in their advertising campaign, and is known for wearing a "Make Trade Fair" wristband during public appearances, including at Coldplay concerts.
According to Martin, developing countries are trading on an unfair playing field, because rich nations are allowed to subsidize their own farmers and industries, while poorer nations are forced to cut subsidies as a condition of loans and aid from developed countries. When poor nations without the benefit of subsidies try to trade with rich nations, their farmers must compete with lower-priced protected goods from rich countries that have been "dumped" into their markets, keeping their own industries in an infant state, and in the process chaining the "third world" in an endless cycle of poverty, according to fair trade advocates. Martin allegedly wrote the song "Twisted Logic" to express his beliefs on the issue, even using the song's title to name the band's tour for X&Y.
Martin was outspoken against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and he endorsed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004. Although he is not a U.S. citizen, Martin's wife Gwyneth Paltrow is; both currently live in London and New York City.
In their early years, Coldplay was also widely noted in the media for their claim to give 10% of their band's profits to charity. Bassist Guy Berryman says, "You can make people aware of issues. It isn't very much effort for us at all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it".