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Basking in the Afterglow: Ross Lynch and The Driver Era

March 26, 2023

Nepo Baby? Nope.


If you were an early 2000s baby, there’s a pretty low chance that you haven’t heard the name Ross Lynch. He was the king of the Disney Channel from 2010 to 2015, starring in Austin and Ally for its four season run and in both of the Teen Beach Movies. But, Lynch isn’t (and wasn’t) just famous for his Disney channel acting gigs. 


Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Lynch moved to Los Angeles at the age of 12 with his family after one of his brothers wanted to pursue an acting career. Following in his footsteps, Ross began acting in commercials and small roles, until he was cast as the male lead, Austin,  in the pilot of Austin and Ally. The show was an instant hit among young viewers and proved to be incredibly successful for Disney, with over 3 million viewers tuning in for every episode. The show was renewed for three more seasons and ended after airing its 87 episodes. 


At the same time that he was starting the show, Lynch was also working with his band on releasing their debut single, “A Billion Hits.” The band was called R5 and consisted of Ross, a childhood friend, and three of his siblings (Riker, Rocky, and Ryder). Ross’ newfound fame helped propel the single into the spotlight and they signed with Hollywood Records soon after its release. 


Following the commercial success of the band’s first single, Ross sang all fourteen songs on the Austin and Ally soundtrack, as well as multiple songs for both Teen Beach Movie soundtracks, which topped the Billboard charts in the US and sold over 407,000 copies. 


After Austin and Ally ended in 2016, Lynch left the Disney channel to pursue other roles, landing the part of teenage Dahmer in My Friend Dahmer and the lead male role on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. But, he never left his music behind. In 2018, the band shifted gears and Rocky and Ross decided to continue making music under a new name, the Driver Era. 


The brothers put out their first single, “Preacher Man” in 2018, which kicked off their career with the band. Then, in 2019, they released a pair of singles, “A Kiss” and “Forever Always,” which garnered over 44,000,000 streams on Spotify. They also have a consistent 2,000,000 monthly listeners. 


The band took a break over the pandemic years due to struggles with their creative visions, but resumed making music in 2021, when they announced their Girlfriend album and subsequent tour. 


Since 2020, Lynch has put his acting career to the side to focus on his music and their current tour. And although R5 disbanded, the other members are currently on tour with them. 


Although it may have not been intentional, Lynch was able to utilize his popularity from his history in acting to propel his music career into the spotlight, allowing him to continue pursuing his passion for making music that he has had since childhood. 


Essential Listens: “Low,” “A Kiss,” “Afterglow,” “Preacher Man”

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