A creation of keyboardist and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen, Nightwish formed in 1996 as an acoustic band. The first incarnation of the band included singer Tarja Turunen and guitar player Erno "Emppu" Vuorinen, along with Tuomas himself.
In 1997, drummer Jukka Nevalainen joined the band, which recorded its first album, Angels Fall First. The next year, bass player Sami Vänskä joined in.
Nightwish's popularity began to grow, reaching its top in 2002, when their album Century Child became a top-seller (it made Gold in Finland in two hours, and Platinum in two weeks). In the meantime, bassist Sami Vänskä was replaced by the bass player of Tarot (and ex-Sinergy), Marco Hietala, who would also provide some male vocals.
In October 2005 the band fired the singer and founding member, Tarja Turunen, motivating their decision with her selfish behavior and lack of respect towards the band and fans, which grew worse in the last years. Turunen was replaced by Anette Olzon in 2007. Olzon left the band in October 2012. Floor Jansen took up the vocal duties for the rest of the tour. Jansen was finally made an official member in October 2013. At the same time Troy Donockley was also promoted from a touring member to a full-time member.
In August 2014 Jukka Nevalainen announced that he cannot peform on the upcoming album due to his long-term insomnia, and that the album would be recorded with Kai Hahto instead. It is currently not known whether he will continue with the band.
Tuomas Holopainen - keyboards
Emppu Vuorinen - guitars
Marco Hietala - bass, vocals
Jukka Nevalainen - drums
Floor Jansen - Vocals
Troy Donockley - Flutes, pipes, whistles