Hailing from the small farming community of Hanna, Alberta, Canada, Chad Kroeger made a name for himself at the turn of the millennium as the lead singer and guitarist of the love-em-or-hate-em post-grunge rock outfit Nickelback. Born on November 15, 1974, Kroeger taught himself how to play the guitar at age 13, but got sidetracked a bit the following year when he was briefly sent to a juvenile detention facility for repeatedly breaking into his junior high school to steal money (an incident mentioned in the band's 2005 hit "Photograph"). Upon his eventual release, he finished high school and began touring around in the early '90s as the lead guitarist for a cover band in which he was performing with two of his future Nickelback bandmates: older half-brother Mike Kroeger and friend Ryan Peake. The band ultimately broke up, which is when Kroeger convinced some friends to hit a studio with him to record several songs he'd been writing on the side. Thus laying down the roots of Nickelback, these songs resulted in a seven-song demo and, later, a self-released full-length that received substantial airplay on various Canadian radio stations. Nickelback, which had relocated from Hanna to Vancouver, slowly became stars in their homeland and broke out on U.S. soil with their massive radio hit "How You Remind Me" from 2001. Kroeger was responsible for most of the band's lyrics and, starting with the band's third record, 2001's Silver Side Up, he began writing in a much more direct, less metaphorical manner, hitting personal topics like failed relationships and the pain and anger associated with an absent father. As Nickelback's popularity grew throughout North America -- alongside peers 3 Doors Down, Creed, and Puddle of Mudd -- Kroeger took some separate time to indulge in various collaborations, including laying down the 2002 hit single "Hero" with Saliva frontman Josey Scott for the Spider-Man soundtrack. He also performed on Carlos Santana's album Shaman ("Why Don't You and I") and did a cover of Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" with Kid Rock and Dimebag Darrell for the soundtrack to Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Kroeger, who owns a studio in Vancouver, has also done production work for rock acts like Default, Theory of a Deadman, and Bo Bice, in addition to co-founding the Vancouver-based 604 Records in 2002.
From that point, Nickelback found unwavering mainstream success, hitting the Top 10 in the U.S. and Canada with 2003's The Long Road, 2005's All the Right Reasons, 2008's Dark Horse, 2011's Here and Now, and 2014's No Fixed Address. During that time, Kroeger was a featured performer on albums by artists including Timbaland, My Darkest Days, and Steel Panther, and co-wrote songs for Bice, Tommy Lee (2005's "Tryin to Be Me), Santana, Daughtry (2009's "No Surprise" and "Life After You"), Tim McGraw (2009's "It's a Business Doing Pleasure with You"), Crystal Bowersox, Bucky Covington, and Avril Lavigne. Kroeger and Lavigne began dating while collaborating on her self-titled album released in 2013, and the couple married on Canada Day of that year. Lavigne announced their separation in 2015, a year that also saw Nickelback's North American and European tours canceled due to Kroeger needing throat surgery to remove a cyst. ~ Corey Apar