Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California which was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson and guitarist Greg Handevidt, following Mustaine's expulsion from Metallica. The band has since released 13 studio albums, three live albums, two EPs, 26 singles, 32 music videos, four compilations, and one box set. A pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s and was ranked as one of the "Big Four of Thrash" along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the thrash metal sub-genre.
Megadeth's lineup has been changed numerous times, due partly to the band's notorious substance abuse problems. Mustaine and Ellefson are the only original members present in the current lineup (as of September 2011), and Mustaine is the only member who has been present throughout. After finding sobriety and securing a stable line-up, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in Peace in 1990, and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992.
Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm. After two years of extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed and, in 2007, United Abominations. The System Has Failed and United Abominations debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively. On September 15, 2009, Megadeth, with new lead guitarist Chris Broderick, released Endgame, their twelfth studio album. Endgame debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200, making it their fifth top 10 album. Megadeth released their thirteenth studio effort, entitled Thirteen, on November 1, 2011.
Over the band's 28 active years, over 20 different people have officially performed as part of the group, with Mustaine being the only constant member. Megadeth is known for its distinctive, technical instrumental style that often features dense, intricate passages and trade-off guitar solos. Megadeth is also known for recurring lyrical themes including politics, war, addiction, personal relationships, and religion. Megadeth has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and has been nominated nine times for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.