Styx (pronounced: /stɪks/) is an American rock band. Their hit songs have included "Come Sail Away", "Lady", "Mr. Roboto", "Renegade", "Babe", "Blue Collar Man" and "The Best of Times". The eight consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.
Styx formed in Chicago. Twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo first got together with their neighbor Dennis DeYoung in 1961 in the Roseland section of the south side of Chicago, eventually taking the band name "The Tradewinds". Chuck Panozzo left to attend seminary school for a year but returned to the group by 1964. By this time, the others had brought in guitarist Tom Nardini to teach Chuck the guitar. Chuck decided to rejoin the others as bassist. Brother John was the drummer, while Dennis had switched from accordion to organ and piano. In 1965, the name "Tradewinds" was changed to TW4 after another band called The Trade Winds broke through nationally. By 1966, the Panozzo brothers had joined DeYoung at Chicago State University and kept the group together doing gigs at high schools and frat parties while studying to be teachers. In 1969, they added a college buddy, John Curulewski, on guitar after Nardini departed. Guitarist James "J.Y." Young came aboard in 1970 making TW4 a quintet.
In 1972, the band members decided to choose a new name when they signed to Wooden Nickel Records; several suggestions were made and, says DeYoung, Styx was chosen because it was "the only one that none of us hated".
The Grand Illusion (1977) became the group's breakthrough album, reaching Triple Platinum certification and spawning a top-ten hit and AOR radio staple in the DeYoung-written "Come Sail Away,", which reached #8 in 1978, as well as a second radio hit, Shaw's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)", which reached #29 the same year.
Through the late 1970s, the band enjoyed its greatest success. The album Pieces of Eight (1978) found the group moving in a more straight-ahead pop-rock direction and spawned the Shaw-written hit singles "Renegade,", #16 in the U.S., and "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)," #21 in the U.S., plus a minor hit in the release "Sing for the Day" that stopped just short of the Top Forty at #41.
Cornerstone (1979) yielded the group's first number one hit, the DeYoung ballad "Babe" . By early 1980, "Babe" had become the band's biggest international hit and first million-selling single, reaching number six in the United Kingdom . The album also included the #26 DeYoung hit "Why Me", and "Borrowed Time" which was co-written with Shaw, plus Shaw's "Boat On The River". The popularity of the album helped win the band a People's Choice Award for Best New Song in 1980. Styx was nominated for the Twenty-Second Grammy Awards for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Cornerstone's engineers Gary Loizzo and Rob Kingsland were nominated for a Grammy at the 22nd Grammy Awards for Best Engineered Recording.