It has been quite the 2012 for fun.’s lead vocalist Nate Ruess, 30. The band’s second album, Some Nights, featured the singles, “Some Nights” and the anthemicWe Are Young,” with the latter reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. On November 3, the band played Saturday Night Live for the first time. Rolling Stone said of Ruess, “He has a huge voice, all snarl and Broadway panache; at his full-fathom best, he could send Adam Lambert scrambling for cover.

However, it has not been an easy road to stardom for Ruess. Born in Iowa City, Iowa, he and his family moved to Glendale, Ariz. when he was four. In 2001, he started the band The Format with Sam Means, his best friend. The group was signed to Elektra Records in 2002, releasing their first album, Interventions + Lullabies, the following year. In 2005, while with Atlantic Records, the group was working on their second album, Dog Problems, when their label dropped them. The band started its own label and released the album in 2006. By 2008, The Format had split up.

Ruess then contacted Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff to form fun. that same year. Their first single, “At Least I’m Not as Sad as I Used to Be,” was offered as a free download on their MySpace page and their debut album, Aim and Ignite, was released in 2009 to positive reviews. They would go on to tour with Paramore and Panic! at the Disco in 2011, the same year that work began on their second album.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Ruess, who is currently dating Antonoff’s sister, Rachel, relayed details as to how the song, “We Are Young,” was created after a night in which he drank too much. “Have you ever been kicked out of a cab for puking all over the place? I have. The cabbie was demanding all this money, and all I could do was stand in the corner with my head against the wall. It took me another day before I was a functioning adult and could actually write down the verses.”

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