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Styx

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Chicago, United States (1961 – present)

Styx is an American band, and the first musical act to ever have four consecutive multi-platinum albums.

The group originally formed in the Chicago, Illinois, area in 1961 as “The Tradewinds”. This earliest line-up of the group included vocalist, pianist, keyboardist, and accordion player Dennis DeYoung, and a rhythm section comprising brothers Chuck Panozzo and John Panozzo on bass and drums, respectively. Changing their name briefly to “TW4”, the band added guitarists/vocalists James Young (J.Y.) and John Curulewski. The band members decided to choose a new name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records; several suggestions were made and, says DeYoung, Styx was chosen because it was “the only one that none of us hated.”

Guitarist Tommy Shaw joined the group in 1975 following the departure of Curelewski. Tommy Shaw left in 1983 and returned again in 1995.

In the mid-1990s, as Styx was about to embark on its first tour with the classic line-up since 1983, John Panozzo fell seriously ill and began battling cirrhosis of the liver, eventually dying of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging; he was 47 years old. John’s brother Chuck left the band shortly thereafter, though he has since rejoined the band part-time and tours with Styx on a regular basis. In 2001, Panozzo announced he was gay and living with HIV and he has been involved in campaigning for AIDS awareness and gay rights. In 2006, he spoke with Frontiers for the first time about his decision to come out.

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