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Ghost (once known as Ghost B.C. in the U.S.) was fronted by Papa Emeritus who wore a skull mask and dressed like a "demonic anti-Pope. The backing band, Nameless Ghouls, looked like Darth Vader's personal minions. They wore silver masks with horns, satanic symbols and full-length hooded robes. It was a visual borne from a "love of horror films and the traditions of Scandinavian Metal."

Ghost formed in '08 and released their full-length debut album, "Opus Eponymous," two years later. Sophomore set, "Infestissumam," marked Ghost's major label debut. The album went to #1 in their native Sweden and made a small dent in the U.S. (after its release was delayed due to controversial - sexual - artwork that was eventually abandoned on all but limited editions).

As if their music and image weren't enough, Ghost embarked on a couple stunts to raise their profile.

Papa Emeritus II was introduced as the successor Papa Emeritus; believed to be the same person playing a new character.

A Facebook campaign endorsed the election of Ghost's frontman as the next Pope of the Catholic Church.

A more meaningful effort came with the release of the EP "If You Have Ghost." The five song set, produced by Dave Grohl (Nirvava, Foo Fighters), included covers of Abba and Depeche Mode.

"Meliora" (a Latin adjective meaning "better" or "for the pursuit of the better") dropped in '15 and was followed by the announcement that Papa Emeritus II had been "fired." His successor, Papa Emeritus III, was said to be II's "younger brother by three months." Okay.

Turned out losing the election for Pope had ramifications. Ghost was forced to reschedule a planned '15 Philadelphia concert due to security measures in effect for a visit by Pope Francis who was attending the World Meeting Of Families.

The concert was bumped three days until after the Pope left town. That was still a letdown for Ghost who had a publicity campaign to coincide with the Pope's visit.

"The band wanted to get really creative, and have their own Ghost motorcade where the singer would go around the city," said promoter Sean Agnew.

Soon, they faced an even stronger challenge. Ghost, Slipknot, Lamb Of God and Sevendust were among the nominees for the '16 Best Metal Performance Grammy. Ghost's "Meliora" took home the trophy.

Alluding to previous endeavors, Ghost unfurled the "Popestar" EP in '16. The set moved 21,000 copies in the U.S. during the first week of release to top both Billboard's Top Rock Albums (the first time an EP accomplished that feat) and Hard Rock Albums charts.

Ghost also topped the Active Rock chart with "Square Hammer." They were the first Swedish band to have a #1 song on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

To top it off, "Popestar" took home the trophy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album at the '17 Swedish Grammis Awards. It was the band's third Grammis win.

With fame comes notoriety. Tobias Forge publicly stated he was Papa Emeritus. Of course, speculation had swirled since the band's debut. This revelation occurred around the time band members were claiming Forge had not properly divided the group's earnings. Essentially, the band felt they were partners in Ghost while Forge saw them merely as hired hands.

Their lawsuit was subsequently dismissed with the ex-Ghost musicians ordered to pay Forge's legal fees. They had sued for roughly $22,000 in unpaid compensation.

Back when the litigation was still pending, Ghost released the digital edition of their live album "Ceremony And Devotion" in late '17. It was available for streaming and purchase with the physical version arriving a month later.

Forge subsequently overhauled the band. For live shows there were three guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and two female keyboard players. Also, Forge dropped the Papa Emeritus moniker adopting the persona of Cardinal Copia.

"Prequelle," Ghost's fourth full-length effort, was recorded at Artery studios in Stockholm with producer Tom Dalgety. The album topped the US iTunes sales chart and debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200.

The album also spawned two #1's on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart - "Rats," which topped the chart for seven weeks, and the second single, "Dance Macabre." That was three consecutive #1's. "Square Hammer" was the first.

While on tour in support of the album, Ghost were forced to end their Milwaukee concert early after a fan collapsed in the mosh pit during intermission. CPR was given to 52 year-old Jeffrey Fortune while concertgoers cleared the Riverside Theater. Sadly, Fortune died later that evening after being transported to the hospital.

Ghost fans later raised over $9,500 via a crowdfunding drive for Fortune's family.
Ghost Discography


2010 Opus Eponymous
2013 Infestissumam
2015 Meliora
2018 Prequelle


2016 Popestar


2017 Ceremony And Devotion

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