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Skrillex emerged as one of dance music's most popular artists during the EDM explosion of the early 2010s, and he's retained that status in addition to becoming a high-profile pop producer. Formerly the frontman of post-hardcore band From First to Last, Sonny Moore began making brash, bombastic dance music under the name Skrillex at the end of the 2000s, heavily influenced by electro-house and the rowdier side of dubstep, but also incorporating influences from metal, hip-hop, dancehall, and other genres. His sudden success introduced dubstep to mainstream American audiences (though his music was associated with a more aggressive variant referred to as brostep), and he won several Grammy Awards for his early EPs Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites (2010) and Bangarang (2011). His music branched out into other styles such as trap and moombahton, and he formed duos with Boys Noize (Dog Blood) and Diplo (Jack Ü); the latter released a Grammy-winning full-length in 2015. Skrillex's own debut album, Recess, appeared in 2014, and he remained busy as a solo artist and producer, racking up credits on albums by Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé, among many others. Two guest-heavy Skrillex albums, the Grammy-nominated Quest for Fire and Don't Get Too Close, appeared nearly simultaneously in 2023. Moore started making and performing solo material around the time he left From First to Last in 2007. An EP titled Gypsyhook appeared under the name Sonny in 2009, and the self-released digital download EP My Name Is Skrillex surfaced in 2010, combining the Benny Benassi and Deadmau5 styles of electro with the same type of over-the-top samples and giant noise of electronica acts like the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim. Moore signed to Deadmau5's Mau5trap label in 2010, where he released his second EP, Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites, along with the club hit "Kill Everybody." If topping the club charts didn't prove the producer had arrived, a trio of Grammy Awards in 2011 helped considerably, including Best Dance/Electronica Album for Scary Monsters and Best Dance Recording for the title track. He also made an appearance on the revived Beavis & Butthead television series and collaborated with the surviving members of the Doors on a single called "Breakn' a Sweat." The recording of the track was captured in the documentary film RE:GENERATION, while the song itself landed on Skrillex's Bangarang EP, which appeared in early 2012. The release won him two more Grammy Awards, one for the title track as Best Dance Recording and one for the EP itself as Best Dance/Electronica Album. Dog Blood, Skrillex's duo with Boys Noize, made its debut with the "Next Order"/"Middle Finger" single, followed by the 2013 EP Middle Finger, Pt. 2. Most of Skrillex's recordings, however, were forced around his busy touring schedule, which found him on every inhabited continent playing to hundreds of thousands of dance fans. Still, he collaborated on singles with Damian Marley ("Make It Bun Dem") and Alvin Risk ("Try It Out"), and released another EP, Leaving, in 2012. He also worked with Cliff Martinez on the score for Harmony Korine's film Spring Breakers the same year. His first proper full-length, Recess, appeared in March 2014 and promptly hit number four on the Billboard 200. In 2015, he collaborated with Diplo for the album Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü. The Justin Bieber collaboration "Where Are Ü Now" was a worldwide smash, and both the song and album won Grammys. Moore produced additional tracks on Bieber's album Purpose. The following year saw Skrillex partner with rapper Rick Ross for the hit single "Purple Lamborghini," which appeared on the soundtrack for Suicide Squad. In the following years, Skrillex issued singles such "Would You Ever" with Poo Bear, "Saint Laurent" with DJ Sliink, Wale, and Austin Millz, and "Face My Fears" with Hikaru Utada, and additionally contributed production to albums by Incubus, M.I.A., the Weeknd, FKA twigs, and many others. Dog Blood released the EP Turn Off the Lights in 2019, shortly before Skrillex issued Show Tracks. Comprised of just two tracks, the glorified single included "Fuji Opener" with Alvin Risk and "Mumbai Power" with BEAM, which he'd included in his live sets for much of the year. In 2021, Skrillex released the J Balvin collaboration "In da Getto" and "Don't Go" with Justin Bieber and Don Toliver, both of which landed in the Hot 100. Skrillex co-produced "Energy" on Beyoncé's 2022 album Renaissance. 2023 brought more collaborations including "Rumble" with Fred again.. and Flowdan and "Way Back" with PinkPantheress and Trippie Redd. Quest for Fire, the second official Skrillex album, arrived in February with Missy Elliott, Four Tet, and Porter Robinson among its guests, and tracks influenced by styles such as U.K. garage and Chicago juke. A day after the album appeared, Skrillex performed a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden and released another album, Don't Get Too Close. While Quest for Fire is heavier on dance tracks, Don't Get Too Close is a moodier set of emo-rap and pop songs featuring guests such as Yung Lean, Bladee, Kid Cudi, and Chief Keef. By the end of the year, Quest for Fire had picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. The song "Rumble" won the award for Best Dance/Electronic Recording.
© David Jeffries /TiVo


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