Five for Fighting has one main member, John Ondrasik, who considers himself mainly a singer and songwriter, though he is also competent as a guitarist and pianist. The name he picked for his band refers to a form of discipline used in the turbulent sport of hockey. Players who fight during the game are sent storming away to cool down for five minutes in a penalty box. In other words, they get five for fighting.
In 1997 Ondrasik, using the stage name Five for Fighting, released his debut album, Message for Albert, for Capitol. Five for Fighting followed it three years later with America Town, released through Columbia. It continued Ondrasik's themes of love and life, but with a more political spin. The album might have been simply another strong outing from a talented singer/songwriter, were it not for the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and the nation's embrace of Ondrasik's delicate piano ballad "Superman (It's Not Easy)." Five for Fighting performed the song at the Concert for New York City that winter, and America Town went platinum. While it was a bittersweet way to find fame, "Superman"'s success gave Ondrasik the artistic license he'd always craved. When The Battle for Everything appeared in early 2004, it was Five for Fighting's most stylistically ambitious and lyrically bold recording to date. 2006's Two Lights continued Ondrasik's exploration of blue-collar America, focusing on love, mortality, war, and family. The concert album Back Country Live arrived in 2007, followed by Slice in 2009