Imagine Dragons “Shout Out” Atlantic Records for “Passing” on Band at Awards Show

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Dan Reynolds was laughing because he knew he’d proved them wrong.

At the recent sixth annual Variety Hitmakers awards brunch, Reynolds chuckled as he shouted out Atlantic Records for “passing” on the band that would become globally famous.

“Shout out Atlantic Records,” Reynolds said. “You guys passed on us. “Shout out to you!” The audience began laughing at the statement. “Uh. You took us to Disneyland, though! [Turns to bandmates] You remember that? Ah! You guys took us to Disneyland for free, that was great. Oh, wow. Yeah. Molly, if you’re here, you tried to sign us but the people didn’t believe us. But Atlantic, we’re celebrating you! We are celebrating—it’s good to have some healthy competition!”

“The music business in a nutshell, c/o @Imaginedragons at @variety’s #hitmakers event,” wrote Variety Executive Editor Shirley Halperin, sharing the video clip.

The awards brunch recognizes the artists, producers, writers, and music executives who worked on the 25 biggest singles of 2022. This year’s event took place in Los Angeles at the City Market Social House.

This year’s get-together featured other artists like Elton John, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Kim Petras and Selena Gomez. Imagine Dragons won Group of the Year.

Elsewhere in his speech, Reynolds noted that his band “had a weird path.” He added that the band’s current label, Interscope Records, is “the best in the world.” But he also said, “Our president isn’t here. He doesn’t care enough. But that’s OK. It’s all good. Don’t worry about it. It’s all good. We’ll keep making you money.”

Imagine Dragons currently have four songs with over one billion streams each. And to date, the band has sold 75 million records.

American Songwriter caught up with Reynolds earlier this year. He talked about the band’s fame.

“If I’m being honest,” he told American Songwriter, “I don’t spend much time thinking about those things [his massive successes]. My focus is always on the present moment and the future. I don’t spend much time thinking about the past. Certainly, when something great happens that I’ve dreamt of ever since I was young, like selling out Madison Square Garden for the first time, it’s like, wow, that’s incredible. But the day passes and the next day I’m focused on the fact that I want to write a great song today.” 

Read more about that HERE.

Photo by LISA O’CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images

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