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Stryper

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Biography

(1983 – present)

Formed in 1983 in La Mirada, California by brothers Michael and Robert Sweet and guitarist Oz Fox as Roxx Regime, they would change their message and name to Stryper to go on to be the first Christian rock band to be recognized by the mainstream.

According to the To Hell With The Devil Songfacts, Stryper took their name from a Bible verse Isaiah 53: 5, which says “….by His stripes we are healed.” Stryper they explained was an acronym meaning “Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness.”

In 1983 they were signed by Enigma Records and released their first album The Yellow and Black Attack. By the mid-1980s, Stryper saw their most successful period starting with the release of To Hell with the Devil which achieved Platinum sales status.

The band earned their stripes (pun intended) on the Los Angeles metal club circuit and in 1984, after recruiting bass player Tim Gaines, signed with Enigma Records and released their debut mini-album, The Yellow And Black Attack (Y&BA).

Their first full-length release, Soldiers Under Command, sold over half a million units worldwide in the eighties, and stayed on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart for over forty weeks. In addition to the hard-rocking tunes that Stryper’s core audience has come to expect, the ballad “Honestly” from their platinum selling 1986 release To Hell With The Devil hit the Top-40 charts. The video for “Honestly” rapidly became the number one most-requested video on MTV. 1988 saw the near-platinum release of In God We Trust, as well as renewed success on MTV, which was bombarded by thousands of phone requests for “Always There For You”.

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