During the late '90s, Creed emerged from a veritable sea of post-grunge contenders to become one of the decade's biggest-selling rock bands. At a time when many other Seattle disciples were lapsing into inactivity or experimenting with less commercial sounds, Creed carried the torch of straightforward, grungy hard rock without apology -- and they were amply rewarded, selling millions upon millions of albums in just a few years' time. That success didn't translate into critical acclaim, however. Many reviewers slammed the band's music as derivative, and frontman Scott Stapp was lambasted by publications like Rolling Stone for being "irony-deficient, Jesus-haired and often shirtless in a way that reminded people of the guy from Lord of the Dance." Based on their frequently spiritual lyrics, some observers deemed Creed part of a new breed of alternative-styled Christian bands, an affiliation that Creed actively tried to downplay. Neither critical derision nor a potential secular backlash could derail the band, however, and they went into the new millennium as a seemingly unstoppable commercial juggernaut. Ultimately, it was Stapp's substance abuse and increasingly erratic behavior that brought an end to Creed's heyday in 2004. The remaining members partnered with vocalist Myles Kennedy to form Alter Bridge, while Stapp briefly pursued a solo career before reconvening with Creed in late 2008.