Pink Floyd were founded in 1965 by Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals). The band had different names before singins under the name “Pink Floyd”. Under Barrett’s leadership, they released two charting singles and the successful debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in December 1967; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. Waters became the primary lyricist and thematic leader. The famous albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979). The musical film based on The Wall, Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), won two BAFTA Awards.
Following personal tensions, Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd, rejoined later by Wright. They produced two more albums—A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994)—and toured in support of both albums before entering a long period of inactivity.
Barrett died in 2006, and Wright in 2008. The last Pink Floyd studio album, The Endless River (2014), was based on unreleased material from the Division Bell recording sessions. In 2022, Gilmour and Mason reformed Pink Floyd to release the song “Hey, Hey, Rise Up!” in protest of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
By 2013, Pink Floyd had sold more than 250 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Wish You Were Here, The Dark Side of the Moon, and The Wall are among the best-selling albums of all time, and the latter two have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Four of the band’s albums topped the US Billboard 200, and five of their albums topped the UK Album Chart. Hit singles include “See Emily Play” (1967), “Money” (1973), “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” (1979), “Not Now John” (1983), “On the Turning Away” (1987) and “High Hopes” (1994). The band also composed several film scores. In 2008, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden presented Pink Floyd with the Polar Music Prize for their contribution to modern music!