As the lead singer of Creed, Scott Stapp achieved great success, but also wound up as a whipping boy for post-grunge, receiving scorn for his guttural growls and theatrical rock star moves.
Despite the slings and arrows, he was one of the biggest rock singers in the United States at the turn of the millennium, with Creed's first three albums -- 1997's My Own Prison, 1999's Human Clay, and 2001's Weathered -- all certified multi-platinum atop the back of hits such as "What's This Life For," "Higher," "With Arms Wide Open," and "My Sacrifice." However, Creed weren't able to maintain such a level of success and they splintered in 2004. Stapp soon launched his solo career with platinum debut, 2005's Top 20 hit The Great Divide. Although Creed briefly reunited in 2009, they once again went their separate ways a few years later. Stapp issued another solo effort, 2013's Proof of Life, before publically spiraling into addiction and mental health struggles. On his road to recovery, he returned with redemptive third album, 2019's The Space Between the Shadows.
A native of Orlando, Florida, Stapp began playing music while at Florida State University, hooking up with a former prep school friend guitarist Mark Tremonti in 1993. They soon added bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips, along with rhythm guitarist Brian Brasher, and began performing under the name Naked Toddler but adopted the Creed moniker soon after. They shed Brasher in 1995 and continued forward, working the material that would form their debut, My Own Prison. Released independently in 1997, the album became a local Floridian hit, earning the attention of Wind-Up Records, which soon signed the band. My Own Prison turned into a national hit thanks to the singles "My Own Prison," "Torn," "What's This Life For," and "One," and it was soon eclipsed by 1999's Human Clay, which went platinum 11 times in the U.S., thanks in part to the strength of the power ballad "With Arms Wide Open."
In the wake of such great success, relationships within Creed became strained, and things got worse during the supporting tour for 2001's Weathered. In 2004, the band announced their break-up, with Tremonti announcing in the press that the band was not getting along with their lead singer. Stapp immediately launched a solo career with 2005's The Great Divide. Although it didn't boast a big hit single, the album was nevertheless certified platinum. Stapp supported the album with a tour and over the next few years he went on the road frequently, but the next big news arrived in 2009, when Stapp and Creed reunited for a tour and a new album called Full Circle. Creed supported the album with a tour and continued to be a going concern through 2012, when they played concerts showcasing their first two albums in their entireties. By that point, Stapp was deep at work on his second solo album. The group disbanded again in 2013 as he completed the album that became Proof of Life, which appeared in October of that year. In the years that followed, Stapp went through a very public breakdown stemming from substance addiction and mental health issues. During his recovery, he briefly joined the band Art of Anarchy, singing on their 2017 release The Madness. Soon exiting that group, he redirected his attention to his health and solo career. Returning in 2019, he issued third LP, The Space Between the Shadows, which centered on his recovery and personal redemption. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi