August 20, 2016 – Matt Roberts (Three Doors Down) was born in rural Mississippi in 1978 – Roberts grew up with lead singer Brad Arnold (vocalist/drummer) and bassist Todd Harrell in Escatawpa, Mississippi, where they formed 3 Doors Down in 1994. He became a seasoned guitarist and back-up vocalist for the group,
The founding members of 3 Doors Down were raised in Escatawpa, a cozy town of 8,000 people in rural Mississippi. Although brought up in religious households, the musicians also felt the call of rock & roll at an early age, eventually forming a rock trio in 1994 to play a friend’s backyard party.
As the years progressed, so did the band’s sound, and the group soon added guitarist Chris Henderson and retained a studio drummer so that Arnold could come forward and sing live. After touring the Gulf Coast’s venues, the band made its way to New York, where a showcase at CBGB brought 3 Doors Down to the attention of Republic Records. A subsidiary of Universal, Republic Records signed the musicians and issued their major-label debut, The Better Life, in early 2000.
The Better Life became one of the biggest-selling albums of 2000, going platinum four times during its first year of release and spawning several singles. The band furthered its success with 2002’s Away from the Sun, which debuted at number eight on the Billboard Top 200 and, like its predecessor, climbed to multi-platinum status. 3 Doors Down toured steadily throughout 2003 and 2004 in support of Away from the Sun, and issued the live EP Another 700 Miles in November 2003 as a holdover between studio efforts. The group returned with a heavier album, Seventeen Days, in early 2005. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went platinum in its first week of release. A self-titled album, which followed in May 2008, repeated its predecessor’s success when it too debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.
3 Doors Down toured throughout 2009, released a digital-only acoustic holiday album at the end of the year, and began to work on their next album in 2010. With Howard Benson serving as producer, the guys shuttled themselves between L.A. and Tokyo, recording the album in both cities and eventually emerging with 2011’s Time of My Life. The following year saw the release of the band’s first Greatest Hits collection, which featured three brand-new tracks.
In 2012 Roberts, who had been dealing with health and circulation problems – issues that were increasingly exacerbated by performing nearly 300 dates each year with the band, announced his departure from the band.
“3 Doors Down will always have a special place in my heart and it saddens me to take this time off,” said Roberts in his official statement. “But my health has to be my first priority.”
“Matt is our brother and he will always be a part of this band and he will always be welcomed back with open arms,” added lead singer and founding member Brad Arnold.
On August 20, 2016 Matt Roberts died of an apparent accidental overdose of pain medication while staying in a hotel room just outside Milwaukee Wisconsin, where he was scheduled to perform for a charity event. Darrell says Matt had rehearsal until 1 AM Saturday and the two went back to their hotel with an adjoining room. He was 38 years old.