Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. Distinguished by their use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successful and musically influential groups in the history of popular music.
Founded in 1965, the band originally consisted of students Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. They first gained popularity performing in London's underground music scene during the late 1960s, and under Barrett's creative leadership they released two charting singles and a successful debut album. David Gilmour joined as a fifth member in December 1967, and Barrett left the band in April 1968 due to his deteriorating mental health. After Barrett's departure, Waters became the band's primary lyricist and by the mid-1970s, their dominant songwriter, devising the original concepts behind their critically and commercially acclaimed albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and The Final Cut (1983).
Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd and Wright subsequently joined them as a paid musician. They continued to record and tour through 1994; two more albums followed, A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, as of 2013 they have sold more than 250 million records worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States.
After nearly two decades of acrimony, they reunited in 2005 for a performance at the global awareness event Live 8. Barrett died in 2006 and Wright in 2008. In 2011, Gilmour and Mason joined Waters at one of his The Wall Tour shows at The O2 Arena in London.