Flea (musician)

Michael Peter Balzary (born October 16, 1962), known professionally as Flea, is an Australian-American musician and actor. He is a founding member and bassist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Flea
Flea performing with Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2016
Background information
Birth nameMichael Peter Balzary
Also known as
  • Mike B
  • the Flea
Born (1962-10-16) October 16, 1962 (age 60)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • actor
Instrument(s)
  • Bass
  • piano
  • vocals
  • trumpet
Years active1982–present
Labels
Member ofRed Hot Chili Peppers
Formerly of

Flea was born in Melbourne, Victoria; his family moved to Rye, New York, when he was four. After his parents divorced, Flea spent his childhood in the United States and Australia, before settling in California. At high school, he befriended singer Anthony Kiedis, with whom he formed the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1983. Flea is also a member of the supergroups Atoms for Peace, Antemasque, Pigface, and Rocket Juice & the Moon, and has played with acts including the Mars Volta, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Alanis Morissette, Young MC, Nirvana, What Is This?, Fear, and Jane's Addiction.

Flea incorporates elements of funk (including slap bass), psychedelic, punk, and hard rock in his playing. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers ranked Flea the second-best bassist of all time, behind John Entwistle.[1] In 2012, he and the other members of Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[2] Since 1984, Flea has acted in films and television series such as Suburbia, Back to the Future Part II and Part III, My Own Private Idaho, The Chase, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Dudes, Son in Law, The Big Lebowski, Low Down, Baby Driver, Boy Erased, The Wild Thornberrys, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Babylon.

Flea is the co-founder of Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization founded in 2001 for underprivileged children. In 2019, he published a memoir of his early life, Acid for the Children.


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