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Nickelodeon signed Big Time Rush to a record deal in 2009 simultaneously with the television series, Big Time Rush. Then, Nickelodeon partnered with Columbia/Epic Label Group to produce the show and include the original music to the show. For the series, their debut single, "Big Time Rush", was released on November 29, 2009. Officially announced by Nickelodeon, the series was first broadcast in the U.S. in November 2009, until it was eventually released worldwide.
It debuted during a one-hour special preview of the series and it is currently the show's opening theme. The series also saw the releases of other singles including "City is Ours" and "Any Kind of Guy". Big Time Rush also covered a Play song titled "Famous". The song was released on iTunes on June 29, 2010. Another song, "Halfway There", was released to iTunes on April 27, 2010 after its premiere on the series. The single has become their first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 93 due to strong digital sales.
On September 21, 2010, Big Time Rush released a promotional single, "Till I Forget About You", to promote the release of their debut album. The album, titled BTR, was released on October 11, 2010. Soon after the release, the band went to Baltimore on October 12, 2010 to do an autograph signing at Arundel Mills Mall. The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 67,000 copies in its first week of release. The album also peaked at number 4 on the Internet Albums chart and number one on the Soundtracks chart. Its track "Big Night" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 79, making it their highest peaking song. The album was later certified Gold for shipments of 500,000 copies in the U.S., over 30,000 copies were sold in Mexico resulting in its second level of Gold and it has sold over 5,000,000 copies worldwide. In November 2010, it was announced that a Christmas special of Big Time Rush would debut later that month, and that a Christmas EP would be released to coincide with the episode. The EP, titled Holiday Bundle was released on November 30, 2010. They covered "All I Want for Christmas is You", originally performed by Mariah Carey, with fellow Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove, but was not released as so. Instead it was released as just them and it came with a new Christmas beat, "Beautiful Christmas". both releases went on to become one of the few best selling holiday songs of all time on iTunes.
On February 15, 2011, "Boyfriend" was released as the band's first official single to mainstream US radio. "Boyfriend" peaked at number seventy-two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming their most successful song to date. It peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart in March 2011. A remix of "Boyfriend" which featured New Boyz was leaked onto the internet. Big Time Rush was nominated for MTV's Breakthrough Band award honor in 2011 as well. Big Time Rush has made several appearances at KCA (Kid's Choice Awards.) Also, Big Time Rush was nominated for the 2013 Premios Oye! award in Mexico (similar to the Grammy award in the United States), with their single "Boyfriend" nominated for the Best International English Song of the Year. However, they lost to Rihanna's single "Diamonds".
The group announced they would be recording their second studio album, just after Nickeloden renewed the series for a third season. On July 22, 2011, the band released a promotional single, "If I Ruled the World" featuring Iyaz, in anticipation of their second album, Elevate. Elevate was released on November 21, 2011 and debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, selling over 70,000 copies in its first week. Though for a lower peaking than their previous, the album sold more copies than the previous album. The first single, "Music Sounds Better with U", written by the band and Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, was released on November 1, 2011. The song peaked at number twenty-six on the US Pop Songs.
To promote the release of their second album, the group had their first headlining tour, the Better With U Tour, which took place over sixteen dates in February and March 2012. JoJo opened for Big Time Rush for the first five dates, while One Direction opened for ten of the sixteen dates. In late February, Big Time Rush announced a national summer tour starting July 5 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. Cody Simpson, Rachel Crow and Leon Thomas III was the opening acts in the American venues, whereas Victoria Duffield and Tyler Medeiros was the openers in the Canadian cities.
Their single, "Windows Down", was released on June 25, 2012. With its success, the song peaked at 37 on the US Pop Songs and 15 on the US Heatseekers Songs. The song then debuted at 97 on the Hot 100. It was included on a re-release of the group's second album, Elevate.
The band announced they would be starring in their full-length 2012 film, Big Time Movie. The movie features them travelling to London, England. In Big Time Movie, the four members of the band Big Time Rush head to London for their first big world tour but instead get mixed up in a mission to save the world. The film was released on March 10, 2012 in the US, while a Germany release was on September 22, 2012. Due to the promotion, the group recorded cover of The Beatles songs and released an EP, Big Time Movie Soundtrack EP. However, the film received mixed to positive reviews from most contemporary film critics, many comparing them to The Monkees but praising their fun, carefree image. However, the film was a commercial success, having over 13 million views in a week.
On August 6, 2012 Nickelodeon renewed the Big Time Rush series for a 13-episode fourth season, production started on January 7, 2013. The band also released a song titled "Like Nobody's Around" for the new season. It is on their third album. On April 15, in an interview on Cambio, Big Time Rush announced that "24/seven" would be released sometime in early June 2013 and that the fourth season of "Big Time Rush" will air on May 2, 2013. On April 18, Big Time Rush revealed that "24/Seven" would be released either June 4 or 11, 2013. On April 20, nine tracks from the album (plus "Song for You" without the Karmin vocals and "Get Up" with only Kendall's vocals) was leaked. On June 4, EW released the full 10-song Standard version of 24/Seven online. The Deluxe version of 24/Seven has also been leaked on YouTube and a different version of "Love Me Again" was leaked with it. EW released a different version of "Get Up" and "Song For You" than what was leaked previously.
Big Time Rush's 3rd album 24/Seven was released on June 11, 2013 and revealed the album cover and track list April 29, 2013.