Dire Straits were a British rock band, formed in 1977 by former journalist and teacher Mark Knopfler, initially composed of Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). The group split in 1995 when Mark Knopfler started his career as a solo artist.
Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band's early years, the band's stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more "rootsy" influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits' compositions were melancholic. Dire Straits became one of the world's most commercially successful bands, and sold over 120 million albums worldwide. The band's biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies.
Dire Straits won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. Dire Straits'