Who are Kings of Leon named after?

11 May 2024, 10:00

Kings Of Leon in August 2003: Caleb Followill, Matthew Followill, Nathan Followill, and Jared Followill
Kings Of Leon in August 2003: Caleb Followill, Matthew Followill, Nathan Followill, and Jared Followill. Picture: Maurits Sillem/Getty Images

Find out the the touching origin of the American band's regal name.

Radio X

By Radio X

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Kings of Leon have returned in 2024 with a fantastic new album. Can We Please Have Fun?

The southern outfit - comprising of brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill joined by their cousin Matthew - have been bashing out bangers since the turn of the millennium.

With over 20 years under their belt, it's hard not to know at least one of the band's famous hits. However, do you know how they came up with their regal-sounding name?

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Who are Kings of Leon named after?

Kings of Leon formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 1999.

Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill were all sons of Ivan Leon Followill - a Pentecostal preacher who travelled around the Deep South with them and their mother Betty-Ann as he preached.

When their father retired from preaching and their parents divorced in 1997, Nathan and Caleb moved outside Nashville.

They bought a bass for their younger brother Jared, and later admitted to "kidnapping" their cousin Matthew from Mississippi to join the band.

Their name is quite simply inspired by their familial bond as it's taken directly from their paternal grandfather, who was named Leon.

Therefore they are Kings of Leon.

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How did Kings Of Leon come up with the title Sex On Fire?

The title for the band's most famous song started off as a running joke. The song started out as a melody, therefore the band just kept throwing silly lyrics over the chorus. They tried out several different iterations such as Set Us on Fire, Snatch on Fire and Cocks on Fire, but the band settled on Sex on Fire, which was a bit of a joke that just stuck.

Speaking to Radio X band also joked about how they make the track sound more palatable for their kids.

“It’s ‘Socks on Fire’,” drummer Nathan Followill told us. “Uncle Caleb’s socks caught on fire one night when I was drying them out on the heater."

Caleb mused: "I think that song is the least of our worries. We have much bigger things to tackle than Sex On Fire,” before Nathan interjected: “They won’t listen to Taper Jean Girl. Ever.”

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