The first breakthrough hit for this band was the song “Push.”
When TODAY’S song, which is from the same album, also started to climb the charts. It was clear that this band had found a formula that worked well and they were NOT going to be remembered as one hit wonders.
Today’s song is inspired by the lead singer’s troubled relationship with his mother. To some, the song sounds like yet another ode to a romantic object of desire. But the truth is that the song wasn’t singing about a potential lover but about his mother, and the quirkiness of the lyrics wasn’t rooted in charm but in disease.
As a teenager, he had to help care for his mother while she underwent intense treatment for cancer. He explained how he was trying to capture both his love for his mother and their complicated relationship: “My mom and I had a volatile relationship. Some of that was in there. ‘It’s all gonna end and it might as well be my fault.’ It was touching on this love I had for her, this resentment I had for her, and all of this stuff I was having to go through. This weird relationship where we were super-super close but also at arm’s length.”
The singer was 12 years old when his mom got the disease, and she was given six months to live. She beat it, and by the time he was 17, she was healthy and he left home to set out on his own.
Before recording their second album, this band’s front man collaborated on a song called "Smooth" for Carlos Santana's comeback album, Supernatural. (CLIP)
He was supposed to act only as a songwriter for "Smooth", but Carlos Santana had him sing for it after hearing the song's demo. "Smooth" was the album's lead single and became a hit in 1999. Today’s frontman won three Grammy Awards for writing and performing on "Smooth": Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Popular Music Collaboration with Vocals.
FUN FACT: In 2000, today’s band officially changed the spelling of their name from “Matchbox two oh” to “Matchbox Twenty, where ‘twenty’ is spelled out as a word.
That same year, they also released their second album, Mad Season. The album was certified 4x platinum in the United States. The video for "Bent" , one of the singles, made fun of singer Rob Thomas' increased fame from "Smooth" by showing the other band members playfully assaulting him.