The Prodigy

1990-
Liam HowlettKeyboards1990-
Keith FlintDancing, vocals1990-2019
MaximMC, beatboxing, vocals1990-
Leeroy ThornhillDancing1990-2000
SharkyDancing1990-1991

The Prodigy Artistfacts

  • The Prodigy was founded in Braintree, Essex, in 1990 by keyboardist and songwriter Liam Howlett. The original lineup comprised Howlett, dancer and singer Keith Flint, dancer Leeroy Thornhill, MC and vocalist Maxim (then known as Maxim Reality) and female dancer Sharky.
  • The quintet played their first-ever gig at the Four Aces, a tiny venue in Dalston, east London. They were paid £100 between them.
  • The band was named after the Moog Prodigy analogue synthesizer.
  • Leeroy Thornhill's height is 6-foot 7 inches (200 cm).
  • The Prodigy arrived as a mainstream global force with 1997's Fat of the Land, which reached #1 in more than a dozen countries, including the UK and US. They were the first electronic group to top the album charts in America.
  • Liam Howlett married All Saints member Nicole Appleton in June 2002.
  • Liam Howlett is a classically trained pianist (he had eight years of lessons), but he can't read a note.
  • When The Prodigy started in 1990, Liam Howlett was totally into the London warehouse rave dance party scene and he set out to create that sound with Keith Flint, Leeroy Thornhill and Sharky as dancers. He recalled to URB: "We were so naïve, we didn't have any direction or forward-thinking as to where the band was going. We were just living to play every weekend at all these parties."
  • Their first album, The Prodigy Experience, was inspired by the breakbeat hardcore and rave scene in the UK. The Prodigy's second album Music for the Jilted Generation, was largely a response to the rave scene dying out partly as a result of the criminalization by the UK government of parts of rave culture. Their anger galvanized the novelty rave band into an angry spokesmen for the "jilted generation."
  • Impressed by the live acts of such American funk-metal outfits as Rage Against The Machine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Prodigy set out to create the same energy onstage that rock bands did. They moved, danced and screamed, doing exactly the opposite of what was expected of an electronic act. Keith Flint told Melody Maker July 20, 1996: "Prodigy are about energy. Buzz is our all-time overused word."
  • Originally Keith Flint was one of The Prodigy's dancers. However the band truly went international when Flint grabbed the mic and unleashed the full fury of his voice on the abrasive, in-your-face "Firestarter." His performance and distinct, punk-influenced look in its video cemented their fame.
  • When The Prodigy headlined Glastonbury at 1997 they became the first dance act to top the festival's bill.
  • Keith Flint was a keen motorcyclist and had his own team - Team Traction Control - which has won four Isle Of Man TT races.
  • During the mid-2000s Keith Flint had an ongoing battle with depression and prescription drug dependency. He recalled to The London Times: "I'd line up rows of pills and just take them and take them and I'd lose track of how many until I passed out."
  • Keith Flint was found dead on Monday, March 4, 2019 at his home in Essex. He had committed suicide over the weekend. Flint was survived by his wife, Japanese DJ Mayumi Kai. An inquest into the cause of his death confirmed a week later that he had died by hanging.

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