Bassist Michael "Mickey" Madden was born on May 13, 1979, in Austin, TX. He began playing music with junior-high friends guitarist Jesse Carmichael and singer/guitarist Adam Levine under the influence of groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and after the final 1994 addition of Ryan Dusick on drums, the alternative pop/rock band Kara's Flowers were born. The quartet scored a record deal with Reprise, issued a mediocre album, and was released from its contract all in a matter of years. Following the termination of its deal, the band went on hiatus, during which Madden briefly took some classes at UCLA. Before long, however, the guys had reconvened back in Los Angeles to begin writing new songs that featured more groove-based elements than their past songs. New guitarist James Valentine was ultimately added into the fray (moving Carmichael over to keyboards) and the pop/rock group renamed itself Maroon 5. After scoring a new deal with Octone Records and writing a bunch of songs directly inspired by Levine's recently failed relationship, Maroon 5 released their debut album, the aptly titled Songs About Jane, in June 2002. The album sold steadily over the next couple of years and was certified platinum by 2004. Maroon 5 scored several hit singles, won two Grammy Awards, and toured constantly in support.
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