If rock ‘n’ roll had fairy tales, the 3 Doors Down story would be one of the most popular. Their story begins in childhood, it celebrates friendship, honesty and making the most of God-given talents. It’s about faith in your teammates and collaboration, trusting instincts and, once success is achieved, lending a hand to help others.

They made their mark early, selling 6 million copies of their debut album, and rather than allow that moment to define themselves, they have developed as musicians, songwriters and friends. The stories and emotions related in their songs resonate with audiences: Their music and lyrics are as approachable as the guys in the band. 

“The main thing is the lyrics,” says Brad Hardin, a radio programmer in Tampa, Florida, at one of the first stations to play 3 Doors Down's music. “I've watched them mature as a band. They work hard, they do anything for their community and they're so sincere and easy to be around. And that comes out in their music.”

“I’ve got to make this life make sense” is a line from one of 3 Doors Down’s most popular songs, “Away From the Sun” and in many ways it sums up a key attraction to the band’s work: The directness of Brad Arnold’s lyrics.

“Something I have always tried to do when writing a song: Talk about something besides the rims on the car, something somebody can identify with, but make it open-ended so a listener can make it adapt to their own life,” he says. 

That open-ended element is one reason their music has been used to promote every major sports league from college basketball to hockey, they have connected with the military in consistent and meaningful ways and their foundation takes care of children in need.