Big Time Rush (also known as BTR) is an American pop group formed in 2009. The group consist of Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Logan Henderson, and Carlos Pena, Jr. The group starred in Nickelodeon’s television series Big Time Rush and signed to a record deal with Nick Records simultaneously with the television series, and then the group was eventually signed to Columbia Records. The show ran from November 28, 2009 to July 25, 2013. The pilot episode featured the group’s first promotional single, “Big Time Rush”. They have released three studio albums which all achieved success. The band went on hiatus in 2014.
Nickelodeon signed Big Time Rush to a record deal in 2009 simultaneously with the television series, Big Time Rush. Then, Nickelodeon partnered with Columbia/Epic Label Group to produce the show and include the original music to the show. For the series, their debut single, “Big Time Rush”, was released on November 29, 2009. Officially announced by Nickelodeon, the series was first broadcast in the U.S. in November 2009, until it was eventually released worldwide. It debuted during a one-hour special preview of the series and it is currently the show’s opening theme. The series also saw the releases of other singles including “City is Ours” and “Any Kind of Guy”. Big Time Rush also covered a Play song titled “Famous”. The song was released on iTunes on June 29, 2010. Another song, “Halfway There”, was released to iTunes on April 27, 2010, after its premiere on the series. The single has become their first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 93 due to digital sales.
On September 21, 2010, Big Time Rush released a promotional single, “Till I Forget About You”, to promote the release of their debut album. The album, titled BTR, was released on October 11, 2010. Soon after the release, the band went to Maryland on October 12, 2010, to do an autograph signing at Arundel Mills Mall. The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 67,000 copies in its first week of release. The album also peaked at number 4 on the Internet Albums chart and number one on the Soundtracks chart. Its track “Big Night” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 79, making it their highest peaking song. The album was later certified Gold for shipments of 500,000 copies in the U.S. In November 2010, it was announced that a Christmas special of Big Time Rush would debut later that month, and that a Christmas EP would be released to coincide with the episode. On November 30, 2010, they released the Holiday EP Holiday Bundle, with two songs: “Beautiful Christmas” and the cover of “All I Want for Christmas is You”, originally performed by Mariah Carey.
On February 15, 2011, “Boyfriend” was released as the band’s first official single to mainstream US radio. “Boyfriend” peaked at number seventy-two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their most successful song to date. It peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart in March 2011. A remix of “Boyfriend” which featured New Boyz was leaked onto the internet. Big Time Rush was nominated for MTV’s Breakthrough Band award honor in 2011 as well. Big Time Rush has made several appearances at KCA (Kid’s Choice Awards.) Also, Big Time Rush was nominated for the 2013 Premios Oye! award in Mexico (similar to the Grammy award in the United States), with their single “Boyfriend” nominated for the Best International English Song of the Year. However, they lost to Rihanna’s single “Diamonds”.
The group announced they would be recording their second studio album, just after Nickelodeon renewed the series for a third season. On July 22, 2011, the group released a promotional single, “If I Ruled the World” featuring Iyaz, in anticipation of their second album, Elevate. Elevate was released on November 21, 2011 and debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling over 70,000 copies in its first week. Though for a lower peaking than their previous, the album sold more copies than the previous album. The first single, “Music Sounds Better with U”, written by the band and Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, was released on November 1, 2011. The song peaked at number twenty-six on the US Pop Songs. To promote the release of their second album, the group had their first headlining tour, the Better With U Tour, which took place over sixteen dates in February and March 2012. JoJo opened for Big Time Rush for the first five dates, while One Direction opened for ten of the sixteen dates. In late February, Big Time Rush announced a national summer tour starting July 5 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.
The group announced they would be starring in their full-length 2012 film, Big Time Movie. The movie features them traveling to London, England. In Big Time Movie, the four members of the group Big Time Rush head to London for their first big world tour but instead get mixed up in a mission to save the world. The film was released on March 10, 2012, in the US to Theaters, while a Germany release was on September 22, 2012. Due to the promotion, the group recorded cover of The Beatles songs and released an EP, Big Time Movie Soundtrack EP. However, the film received mixed to positive reviews from most contemporary film critics, many comparing them to The Monkees but praising their fun, carefree image. However, the film was a success, having over thirteen million views in a week.
In 2013 Nickelodeon renewed the Big Time Rush series for a 13-episode fourth season, production started on January 7. The band also released a song titled “Like Nobody’s Around” which according to the premiere episode “Big Time Invasion” was outlining the history of professional, successful, and All-American Boy Bands; the Platters, the Temptations, The Jackson 5, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and NSYNC, in response to the British invasion of rival act, and hugely successful One Direction. “Like Nobody’s Around is the second track on both the standard and deluxe version of Big Time Rush’s third album. On April 15, in an interview on Cambio, Big Time Rush announced that their third studio album, 24/Seven would be released sometime in early June 2013 and that the fourth season of Big Time Rush will air on May 2, 2013. On April 18, Big Time Rush revealed that 24/Seven would be released on either June 4 or 11, 2013. On April 20, nine tracks from the album (plus “Song for You” without the Karmin vocals and “Get Up” with only Kendall’s vocals) was leaked. On June 4, EW released the full 10-song Standard version of 24/Seven online. The Deluxe version of 24/Seven has also been leaked on YouTube and a different version of “Love Me Again” was leaked with it.
24/Seven was released on June 11, 2013, the album cover and track list was revealed on April 29, 2013. 24/Seven saw far less success than its preceding record Elevate which led many critics to draw comparisons between the band’s third album and NSYNC’s third album Celebrity (which also was not as widely received as the preceding No Strings Attached record); nevertheless, singles such as the up-tempo party anthem title track24/Seven and the slower, powerful rock ballad “We Are” still allowed the new record high success in the United States as well as countries such as Mexico and Brazil. 24/Seven has reached Gold status in over several countries since its release and eventually sold millions of copies around the rest of the world nonetheless. Big Time Rush were nominated for World’s Best Group, Best Album and Best Live Act for the ceremony in Monte Carlo, Monaco at the Salle des Etoiles Venue for the 22nd annual World Music Awards. It was later confirmed that same night after the awards show that Big Time Rush had won the World’s Best Live Act trophy, which makes Big Time Rush the very first and only Nickelodeon act or artist in history to win a World Music Award trophy to date. In 2014, the group went on a hiatus to pursue solo careers in music and acting. In an interview, Kendall stated that they will come back together when they have an opportunity.
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