The American group Big Star was formed in 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee. His music is influenced by the so-called "British invasion", a term used to define the acceptance that bands like Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Animals, The Kinks, among others, had in the USA.
In the beginning, in its formation, the Big Star had Chris Bell (vocals, guitar), Steve Ray (guitar), Andy Hummel (bass) and Jody Stephens (drums). However, Steve Ray spent a short time in the band. In his place came Alex Chilton, who over time took over the leadership of the group.
#1 Record, the band's first album, was released in 1972. The failure to sell this album and the fact that Chilton became the leader caused Chris Bell to leave the group that same year and pursue a solo career. In 1974, Big Star released their second album, Radio City. The album, which still had collaborations from Chris Bell, received critical praise, but did not have the expected success. After that release, Andy Hummel left the band, being replaced by John Lightman. Still in 1974, the band started recording new songs for the third album, but the band broke up that same year.
The third album, entitled Third, subsequently came out through an independent label in 1978, the year in which Chris Bell died, the victim of a car accident.
In 1992, Rykodisc released a definitive edition of Third, entitled Third / Sister Lovers. Despite not having a public success in its existence, during the 1970s, the Big Star ended up being worshiped by bands that appeared in the following decade. R.E.M., The Replacements, the Posies and Teenage Fanclub are some that have been influenced by the Memphis group.
In 1993, Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens met with Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow (two members of the Posies) and played some shows sporadically. That same Big Star line-up entered the studio in 2004 and recorded the album In Space, which was released in 2005.
Alex Chilton passed away on March 17, 2010, at the age of 59, victim of a heart attack. In the same year, on July 19, Andy Hummel died of cancer.