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Mumford & Sons are an English folk rock band. The band consists of Marcus Mumford (lead vocals, guitar, drums, mandolin), Ben Lovett (vocals, keyboards, accordion, drums), Winston Marshall (vocals, banjo, guitar, resonator guitar), and Ted Dwane (vocals, string bass, drums, guitar). Mumford & Sons were formed in December 2007, emerging out of West London, with such artists as Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Noah and the Whale.
Mumford & Sons recorded an EP, Love Your Ground, and performed in small to moderate venues in the UK and the United States to expose audiences to their music and build support for an eventual album. Their debut album, Sigh No More, was released in the UK and Ireland in October 2009, and February 2010 in the US. The album reached number one in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and eventually peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and the Billboard 200 in the US. The band gained popularity throughout 2010, performing for larger audiences and making their first network television appearances in the US. On 1 December 2010, the band received two Grammy Award nominations, one for Best New Artist and the other for Best Rock Song ("Little Lion Man"). The ensuing live performance at the Grammy ceremony in February 2011 led to increased airplay and popularity for singles from Sigh No More. The band won the ARIA Music Award for Most Popular International Artist in 2010, and the Brit Award in 2011 for Best British Album.
The band's second studio album Babel was released in September 2012. The album debuted at number one in the UK and US, becoming the fastest selling album of 2012 in the UK, and the second-biggest selling debut in 2012 in the US. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, they sang "I Will Wait" and Babel won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 2013 the band won a Brit Award for Best British Group.
Early years: 2007–2008
Mumford & Sons were formed in December 2007 by multi-instrumentalists Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall, and Ted Dwane. Band members play guitar, drums, keyboard instruments, bass guitar, and traditional folk instruments such as banjo, mandolin and resonator guitar. The band name originates from the fact that Marcus Mumford was the most visible member, organising the band and their performances. Lovett indicated that the name was meant to invoke the sense of an "antiquated family business name". A handful of similar bands were increasing their visibility in West London around the same time, giving rise to the label "West London folk scene". Mumford downplays that characterisation as an exaggeration—Mumford & Sons and a few other folk acts just happened to be operating in the same general area at the time. In an interview with the Herald Sun, Marcus Mumford said, "It's not folk really. Well, some of it is, and it's certainly not a scene. Someone got over-excited about a few bands who live in a hundred-mile radius and put it in a box to sell it as a package. It's a community, not a scene. It's not exclusive." Having developed in the same musical and cultural environment, Mumford & Sons' sound has been compared to that of artists such as Noah and the Whale, Johnny Flynn, and Laura Marling, for whom Marcus Mumford used to drum.