The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums). They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction. The Who have sold about 100 million records and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States with 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.
The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with "I Can't Explain."
The albums ''My Generation'' (1965), ''A Quick One'' (1966) and ''The Who Sell Out'' (1967) followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. Popular singles from those albums include "My Generation," "The Kids Are Alright," and they first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with "Happy Jack" and hit the top ten later that year with "I Can See for Miles".
Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop , Woodstockand Isle of Wight music festivals. The 1969 release of the rock opera “Tommy” was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who by Numbers (1975), Who Are You (1978) and The Kids Are Alright (1979).
Charting singles from this era include "Pinball Wizard," "Behind Blue Eyes," "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Baba O'Riley," "5.15," "Squeeze Box," and "Who Are You."
Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five ''Face Dances'' (1981) and the US top ten ''It's Hard'' (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the ''Quadrophenia'' tours of 1996 and 1997.
In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle's death at the age of 57 in 2002.
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and won the first annual Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement in Live Music Award in 2006. They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.
“Tommy” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, "My Generation" in 1999 and “Who's Next” in 2007. At the 31st annual awards ceremony on 7 December 2008, Townshend and Daltrey received Kennedy Center Honors, the first rock band to be so honored.