Led Zeppelin were formed in 1968, comprising lead singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bass guitarist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham.
* In December that year, the band made their U.S. concert debut in Denver, Colorado, where they were third on the bill behind Vanilla Fudge and Spirit. The United States was to become crucial to their huge success.
* Led Zeppelin released their first, eponymous, album in 1969, and shortly afterwards "Led Zeppelin II". Together these are widely recognised as laying the foundations for hard rock.
* By the early 1970s, Led Zeppelin were arguably the world's biggest band. Their fourth album, released in 1971, included their most famous track "Stairway to Heaven".
During this period Zeppelin earned a reputation for rock'n'roll excess on tour. The band have sold an estimated 300 million albums worldwide.
* The surviving members decided to break up shortly after Bonham died in September 1980, reportedly following a bout of heavy drinking. He was 32.
* Page and Plant collaborated after the band broke up but a reported rift with Jones prevented a reunion by all the surviving members.
* Plant, Page and Jones will perform together in London on December 10, along with Bonham's son Jason on drums, at a charity gig. After the announcement was made, the website selling tickets crashed several times due to huge demand.
* As well as the concert, the band have made their music catalogue available on the Internet for the first time, and have signed a deal for ring tones and downloads with a U.S. mobile phone carrier. Led Zeppelin also released a hits CD and a re-mixed version of the soundtrack from the band's three-night stint at Madison Square Garden in 1973.
(Sources: Reuters, Warner Music, www.led-zeppelin.com )