With an eye toward reinventing the boy band sound, the Wanted formed in 2009, nearly ten years after groups like *NSync and the Backstreet Boys hit their commercial peak. Like those two groups, the Wanted were assembled through a series of auditions. Max George, a member of the short-lived British boy band Avenue, was the most famous singer to land a spot in the outfit's lineup, while Siva Kaneswaran became the group's only Irish member. Rounded out by British vocalists Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker, and Nathan Sykes, the Wanted topped the U.K. charts less than 12 months after forming when their debut single, "All Time Low," debuted at number one in August 2010.
The band's debut album, The Wanted, followed with similar chart success, debuting at number four on the U.K. album charts upon release in October 2010. One year later, the Wanted returned with their sophomore effort, Battleground, featuring the single "Gold Forever." By the time the album was released, the band had already signed a distribution deal with the American-based Def Jam Records. In 2012, the band released a self-titled compilation EP as an introduction to the U.S. market; it featured hits off its first two albums, as well as two newly recorded songs. The EP was well-received stateside and soon after, they began sessions for their third record, Word of Mouth, which was issued in 2013. It reached Top Ten in the U.K., and the Wanted began a world tour that took them into 2014. The band began to splinter later that year, however, first with the announcement of a hiatus and then a formal breakup. Early in 2015, Sykes debuted a solo single, "More Than You'll Ever Know," and began recordings for his first album with help from Diane Warren, Babyface, and Jennifer Lopez.