Snow Patrol are a Northern Irish-Scottish 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 band rose to prominence in the early-mid 2000s as part of the post-Britpop movement.
The band were founded at the University of Dundee in 1993 by Lightbody, Michael Morrison, and Mark McClelland as Shrug. After briefly using the name Polarbear and released the EP Starfighter Pilot (1997) and losing Morrison as a member, the band became Snow Patrol in 1997 and added Quinn to its line-up. Their first two 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 record label Jeepster Records. The band then signed to the major record label Polydor Records in 2002.
Connolly joined Snow Patrol in 2002, and after their major-label debut album, Final Straw, the following year, the band 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 records worldwide.