Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Levine began his musical career in 1994, when he co-founded the alternative rock band Kara's Flowers, of which he was the lead vocalist and guitarist. The band split up after their only album, The Fourth World (released in 1997), which did not gain popularity. In 2001, the group was reformed – with guitarist James Valentine joining the line-up – and began a new musical chapter, changing their name to Maroon 5. In 2002, the band released their first album, Songs About Jane, which went multi-platinum in the US. Since then, they have released five more albums: It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007), Hands All Over (2010), Overexposed (2012), V (2014) and Red Pill Blues (2017). As part of Maroon 5, Levine has received three Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award and a World Music Award.
Since 2011, Levine has served as a coach on NBC's reality talent show The Voice. The winners of the first, fifth and ninth seasons: Javier Colon, Tessanne Chin and Jordan Smith, were all on his team. In 2012, Levine made his acting debut as a recurring character in the second season of the FX horror television show American Horror Story. Levine also starred in the film Begin Again.
As an entrepreneur, Levine launched his own eponymous fragrance line in 2013. The same year, he collaborated with K-Mart and ShopYourWay.com to develop his menswear collection. He also owns a record label, 222 Records. In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter reported that "sources familiar with his many business dealings" estimated Levine would earn more than $35 million that year.