Skillet is an American Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1996. The band currently consists of husband and wife duo John Cooper and Korey Cooper along with Jen Ledger and Seth Morrison . The band has released eleven albums, two of which, Collide and Comatose, received Grammy nominations. Two of their albums, Comatose and Awake, are certified Platinum and Double Platinum respectively by the RIAA, while Rise and Unleashed are certified Gold as of June 29, 2020. Four of their songs, "Monster", "Hero", "Awake and Alive", and "Feel Invincible", are certified Multi-Platinum , while another two, "Whispers in the Dark" and "Comatose", are certified Platinum, and another four, "Rebirthing", "Not Gonna Die", "The Last Night", and "The Resistance" are certified Gold.
Skillet went through several lineup changes early in their career, leaving founder John Cooper as the only original member remaining in the band. They are known for a relentless touring schedule, which garnered them a top five ranking in the Hardest Working Bands of 2010 by Songkick.com.
Skillet formed in 1996 with two members: John Cooper, former vocalist for Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph, and Ken Steorts, former guitarist for Urgent Cry. The two bands met through touring together, but they disbanded soon after, so John and Ken's pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side project. They decided to name the experiment "Skillet". After, Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month when they received interest from major Christian record label ForeFront Records. In 1996, they released their demo album Right Upside Your Head. On October 29 of the same year, they released a self-titled debut Skillet. It was well received, and the trio continued to write new material as they toured the United States.
Cooper has said the band's name was meant to be humorous, as the other founding members had already been in other bands, each with a different sound and style. The pastor of Covenant Community Church in Memphis—where the band was formed as a worship band side project—gave them their name as he felt they were like "southern cooking, where you just toss a bunch of different things into a big ol' skillet and see what it turns out like."
Skillet recorded their follow-up album throughout 1997, titled Hey You, I Love Your Soul, which was released in April 1998. Their second effort was a change in style from the band's first release. With this release, Skillet abandoned their grunge approach for a lighter alternative rock and style. Cooper's wife Korey was enlisted soon after to play keyboards live in order to alleviate his performance duties.
Shortly before the band began recording for their third album, Invincible, Steorts left to be with his family and launch Visible Music College, and Kevin Haaland joined the band as their new guitarist. Korey Cooper joined the band permanently and played keyboards for the recording of Invincible. Because of this change, the musical style on Invincible changed to a more electronic sound. Soon after the release of Invincible in early 2000, Trey McClurkin parted ways with Skillet, and Lori Peters filled the drummer's position.