The Prodigy are an English electronic dance music band from Braintree, Essex, formed in 1990 by keyboardist and songwriter Liam Howlett. The band's line-up has included MC and vocalist Maxim, dancer and vocalist Keith Flint (until his death in March 2019), dancer and live keyboardist Leeroy Thornhill (who left to pursue a solo career in 1999), and dancer and vocalist Sharky (1990–1991). Along with the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy are credited as pioneers of the breakbeat-influenced genre big beat, which achieved mainstream popularity in the 1990s. Howlett's rock-inspired drum rhythms infused with electronic rave music beats/breaks were combined with Maxim's omnipresent mystique, Thornhill's shuffle dancing style and Flint's modern punk appearance.The Prodigy first emerged in the underground rave scene in the early 1990s and achieved popularity and worldwide recognition with UK number one singles such as "Firestarter" and "Breathe", both singles coming from their UK and US chart- topping album The Fat of the Land (1997). A third single from the album, “Smack My Bitch Up”, was also successful. They earned titles like "the premiere dance act for the alternative masses" and "the Godfathers of Rave", and remain one of the most successful electronic acts of all time. They have sold an estimated 25 million records worldwide, and won numerous music awards during their career, including two Brit Awards for Best British Dance Act, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Kerrang! Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards, and received two Grammy Award nominations.