- 🇺🇸 Los Angeles, CA
- Years Active
1988 - Now
Mr. Big is an American hard rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1988. The band was originally composed of Eric Martin (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar, backing vocals), Billy Sheehan (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Pat Torpey (drums, percussion, backing vocals). They are noted especially for their music, and have scored a number of hits. Their songs are often marked by strong vocals and vocal harmonies. Their hits include "To Be with You" (a number-one single in 15 countries in 1992) and "Just Take My Heart". The band takes its name from a song by Free, which it covered on the 1993 album Bump Ahead.
Mr. Big remained active and popular for over a decade despite internal conflicts and changing music trends, releasing four studio albums: Mr. Big (1989), Lean into It (1991), Bump Ahead (1993) and Hey Man (1996). Guitarist Paul Gilbert departed the band in 1999, and Richie Kotzen was brought as a guitarist and vocalist. The band released two more albums with this line-up: Get Over It (1999) and Actual Size (2001). Mr. Big broke up in 2002.
Following requests from fans, Mr. Big reunited with its original line-up in 2009. The band's first post-reunion tour was in Japan. In 2010, Mr. Big released its first album in 15 years with the same line-up: What If.... During the recording of the follow-up album ...The Stories We Could Tell (2014), Pat Torpey was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and participated only marginally as a drum producer and touring support. The band's ninth album, Defying Gravity (2017), was its last record involving Torpey; he died the following year. Not wanting to continue without Torpey, the band intends to release a final studio album, conduct a farewell tour and disband.
Mr. Big is frequently cited as an example of the "Big in Japan" phenomenon, where a musical act is disproportionately more popular in Japan compared to similar groups. Some consider Mr. Big as one-hit wonder for "To Be with You," but they maintained consistent popularity in the Japanese market for years.