The untold truth of Chris Martin

Chris Martin may have a normal pedestrian name, but as the lead singer of Coldplay for over 20 years, the man is anything but average. During that time, the music star has racked up seven Grammy wins, four top ten Billboard Hot 100 hits, and worldwide recognition. Continuing to celebrate its superstardom, the British rock outfit released its eighth studio album, Everyday Life, in November 2019 to mostly positive reviews. The record made quite a splash for reasons outside the actual music when Martin announced to BBC News that Coldplay would put a pause on touring in response to environmental concerns.

From his unique upbringing to hanging out with famous friends, Martin has put together quite the showbiz resume and has shown no signs of slowing down. Think you know what life is like for the frontman of one of the most popular bands in the world? Cue up your favorite Coldplay tune as we explore the untold truth of Chris Martin.

Chris Martin's surprisingly young collaborators

Coldplay has collaborated with the likes of the queen herself — Beyoncé — but Chris Martin turned a little closer to home for the band's Everyday Life album. But let's back up a bit. Many fans probably remember Martin's famous marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow. The pair had two children together, daughter Apple and son Moses, before splitting up ... or more specifically, before their "conscious uncoupling." 

Both Apple and Moses are no strangers to the microphone, as the two joined their proud dad onstage at the 2016 Glastonbury Festival to (adorably) provide backup vocals. Fast forward to 2019, when a 15-year-old Apple and 13-year old Moses teamed up with their famous father in the studio. In fact, Moses co-wrote the song, "Orphans," for Everyday Life — which oddly features a lyric about getting drunk with friends, as detailed by The Telegraph. Even though Martin could have used this collaboration as a "take your kids to work day" type of deal, the industry veteran actually treated the situation professionally. When talking about working with his children in the studio during an interview with The Times, Martin revealed, "I pay them, proper fees like everyone. And they are allowed to say no." 

Maybe this tiny duo has a bright musical career ahead of them.

Just how much money is Coldplay's frontman worth?

Eight studio albums across two decades might come across as a somewhat slow recording speed for a popular band, but Coldplay has continued to make a ton of money through its worldwide tours. 2017's A Head Full of Dreams tour, for example, made over $523 million in ticket sales, making it the third-highest grossing tour of that year. Meanwhile, the band's touring company itself "made a profit of £38.4 million on turnover of £63.7m," according to Music Week, which Chris Martin and his three bandmates split evenly.

By 2019, The Sunday Times ranked the frontman at No. 31 on its United Kingdom Rich List. With a reported net worth of 102 million pounds, the singer has found himself placed among other rich and famous British musicians like Ed Sheeran and Adele. With cash like this on hand, Martin can certainly make some cool purchases. For example, he bought the Malibu Playhouse theatre for $4.45 million in 2018, per TMZ. The sweet seaside venue was previously a church, recording studio, and the home of the Malibu Stage Company, but Martin has yet to disclose what he plans to do with the estate. A year later, the Englishman dropped nearly $5.5 million on a Malibu ranch house. We suppose our invite to the housewarming party got lost in the mail.

Chris Martin actually does read mean tweets

The yearly Glastonbury Festival is a massive music event that's always full of surprises. The 2019 festival was no different and featured several cool collaborations starring our guy. As the BBC summarized, Chris Martin came out on stage not once but twice to accompany Stormzy and Kylie Minogue in their respective sets. The fans seemed to love these duets in the moment, but apparently some viewers shared a totally different opinion.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Martin revealed how he loved joining his fellow musicians at the festival. However, things took a turn after he read a mean tweet directed at the Coldplay frontman, which read: "You can always rely on him to come on in a tracksuit and ruin everything." Ouch. At this, Martin admitted that he should probably stop reading comments online and "maybe just go and watch Glastonbury for a year or so." Understandably, he added, "Sometimes these things hurt me, yeah, because I'm human."

To put this decision in context, the music event actually means a lot to Coldplay. BBC News reports that the band has a long history of headlining the Glastonbury Festival. Quick public service announcement: bullying can negatively affect anyone, even a music industry veteran.

The real-life diet of Chris Martin

The life of a musician — constantly on tour, in the studio, or making public appearances — can be grueling. It's no surprise, then, that an artist may look for ways to cope and stay healthy. During a sit down interview on the Fresh 102.7 radio show, co-host Karen Carson asked Chris Martin about his intense diet ... in particular, his 24- to 30-hour fasts.

"I started doing it because I was sick one time and this guy said to me, 'Just try not eating for a day, because it will make your body feel healthier,'" the Coldplay star explained. From there, Martin realized it actually helped him sing better, allowed for a more creative mind, and made him more grateful for food. The singer-songwriter confessed that to end this once-a-week fast (or, ahem, break-fast), he should probably reach for something green and healthy. But what's the first food he'll treat himself to after those grueling 30 hours? "I tend to have Nutella and pancakes, which is terrible," Martin quipped. "It completely defeats the point." Honestly, we stan this decision.

Famous friends from two different worlds

Given that Coldplay's lead singer is British and makes music in the pop/rock landscape, you may be surprised that one of Chris Martin's close friends is the legendary rapper and media mogul Jay-Z. This unlikely but totally adorable celeb friendship began during Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow's marriage, when the two would go on double dates with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, according to The New York Times. Talk about a set of power couples!

In an interview with Pitchfork, Martin opened up about his relationship with Jay-Z and how it really surprised his former wife. Sure, the two came from almost completely opposite backgrounds, but as the frontman explained, "We have the same feelings about trying to be true in your art." Martin further quipped in his typical self-deprecating manner, "It just happens that one of us is a nerd and the other is the coolest multi-entrepreneur on the planet." Music and superstardom aside, how else have these pals bonded? "We do play touch football," Martin revealed.

Chris Martin went from rags to riches

Though Chris Martin may have never fallen under the "struggling artist" category, that's not to say he had fame served up to him on a silver platter. The members of Coldplay began pursuing music during their college years, and just like many other university students, two of the guys worked a not exactly glamorous side hustle. According to a joint interview posted on Ricky Gervais' website, Martin and friend/bandmate Jonny Buckland used to clean people's apartments in London. In reference to an early stage in Gervais' comedic career, Martin explained, "They'd all left for America — they were short-term lets — so they'd always leave food and, cos we didn't have much money, we would eat the rest of their cornflakes and listen to Ricky on XFM."

The two would bump into each other years later at a 2004 event, which led to Gervais asking Martin to make a cameo appearance on this HBO series, Extras. As MTV News summarized, Martin played a version of himself, the famous lead singer of Coldplay, who had multiple fictional charity events to attend. In an oddly accurate rags to riches story, Martin went from literally cleaning houses (with actual rags, we assume) while listening to a comedian — then later appearing on said comedian's famous TV show.

A little less rock and a little more country club

As a child, Chris Martin grew up in a mostly cozy environment. In lieu of the archetypal angst-filled, rocker childhood, this superstar went to prep and boarding school. According to The Guardian, Martin's childhood home boasted a paddock — an enclosure for horses — and a tennis court. During boarding school, the outlet noted, "He was president of a Sting fan club and featured in school bands that played Pet Shop Boys-esque pop and Billy Joel-style honky-tonk piano." (Let's hope videos of these performances surface one day.)

Many shows and world tours later, Martin got the opportunity to return home as part of his official duties for Coldplay. During a 2018 interview with Kost 103.5, Martin discussed how the band would be taking part of the BBC Radio 1 festival, which would take place "in a castle in the field next to where I was born." Martin added, "It's actually like a homecoming — but actually at home."

Chris Martin's early trouble with romance

Chris Martin's upbringing in a relatively plush and religious area in Southwest England had a profound impact on his life. "I grew up with the prospect of heaven and hell looming ever large," he told Rolling Stone, adding, "If you even think about boobs, you're going to hell. It was drilled in." This "black and white" thinking led to Martin's evolving view on homosexuality: "It was more like, 'Oh, s**t, what if [I might be gay]?' Because I was brought up to think that was really wrong."

In a later interview with the magazine, Martin admitted that questioning his sexuality during his boarding school days led to "terrible turmoil." He explained, "I walked a bit funny ... and for a few years, [the other kids] were very much like, 'You're definitely gay.'" Around the age of 15, Martin stopped worrying about the matter, which led to a major turning point in his spirituality: "I was like, 'Yeah, so what?' And then [the worrying and teasing] just stopped overnight ... Eventually, I just was like, 'Okay, I think I have my own relationship with what I think God is.'"

Martin also previously revealed to Rolling Stone that, partially because of his religious upbringing, he didn't lose his virginity until 22. Frustrated with his early luck in the romance department, he said, "I had a tricky time with girls ... It was like, 'I need to be a rock star, because this is no good.'"

The dating adventures of a rock star

After his very public separation from Gwyneth Paltrow in 2014, Chris Martin became one of the most eligible bachelors on the planet. According to Elle, he reportedly got close with Jennifer Lawrence and Annabelle Wallis, before dating rumors surrounding the Coldplay singer and actress Dakota Johnson began swirling in 2017. Not long after, photos started to surface of the two holding hands and going on dinner dates together. While this celeb couple is generally private and share a relationship that's admittedly a little strange, their occasional public appearances have been enough to keep fans happy.

Martin and Johnson have also received a blessing from two incredibly important people. To start, Johnson's famous mother, actress Melanie Griffith, gave her public stamp of approval of the musician, telling People magazine: "I love my daughter's boyfriend. I think that they're an awesome couple." Meanwhile, Martin's ex-wife and father of his children seems to be on board, as well. Despite their difficult divorce, Paltrow showed some love for her ex's new girlfriend when she wished Johnson a happy 30th birthday on Instagram in 2019.

Coldplay's frontman doesn't drink like a fish

In addition to his weekly food fast, Chris Martin appears to live a clean lifestyle in terms of consumption. In a Rolling Stone profile, the author revealed,"Martin's image as a yoga-practicing, pescetarian ascetic is not inaccurate, but he does have a couple of drinks (a Guinness, a whiskey) over the course of two days."

Of course, that's not to say that the Coldplay star is one to over-indulge when it comes to alcohol consumption. In a 2001 interview from Select magazine (republished by The Guardian), Martin claimed he had only been drunk twice in his life at that point. While it'd be easy to point to Martin's religious upbringing as the reason behind this, the article interestingly noted through the singer's own words: "[Martin's] younger brother is 'the anti-Chris, the cool one,' a drum'n'bass DJ who drinks and smokes and has 'experienced all these things for me.'"

Even years after that interview, Martin seemed to stay with a teetotaler mentality despite admittedly feeling "completely worthless" after his split from Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2019, Martin and Dakota Johnson were both spotted "drinking water and eating away" all night on a reported date, according to Us Weekly.

The little singer that could

Of course, all musicians have that big moment when something changes internally and music becomes a driving force. For Chris Martin, that moment came at a very young age. During an interview with Rolling Stone, the Coldplay frontman talked about his first time singing in public. During a school concert at age 11, he explained, "I sang a song I had written about newspapers." Although Martin admitted that the performance received mixed reviews, he later performed another original with friends at another school concert and added, "From that point on, I was in a bunch of bands."

Aside from singing, Martin is well known for his piano playing skills — and again, this musical endeavor started at the magical age of 11. In a separate Rolling Stone interview, Martin revealed that one of his boarding school teachers had encouraged his students to explore music. "There was a bunch of these kids' keyboards around the room," Martin said, recalling a particular class. "And he said, 'Everyone go and mess around.'" Something clicked within Martin, or as he put it, "And that's when the little fire started ... I just felt like music was coming through." 

Luckily for us, Martin continued to pursue that passion. (Also, shout out to all the teachers making a difference in the world!)

Chris Martin is busy making music on top of music

Just because Chris Martin has been in one band — Coldplay, of course — for decades doesn't mean he's done nothing else in the music world. In fact, this popular frontman is a well-respected musician who's appeared on several songs, in addition to conducting production work. 

Martin even worked with some names you may have forgotten — Natalie Imbruglia and Nelly Furtado — on their respective albums. According to The Guardian, Martin wrote what he believed was "the best Coldplay song ever" back in 2009 ... and then lent it to Imbruglia. (You may remember her smash hit "Torn" from 1998, which is actually a cover.) Meanwhile, Martin's work with Furtado actually inspired a future generation. According to British GQ, Dua Lipa collaborated with Martin on her ballad, "Homesick," from her debut album. "It was so surreal, Chris Martin dancing to my music," she recalled in the interview. "I remember saying to him, 'You've written one of my favorite songs ever, the Nelly Furtado song 'All Good Things (Must Come To An End),' and he was like, 'God, I forgot I wrote that.'"

Becoming so musically proficient and prolific in the music business that you can't remember everything you wrote? Uh, no big deal.