After being rejected by many American record labels, they signed with 'Columbia/CBS Records Canada' and began recording their first album on March 20, 1980 with founding members Mike Reno (ex-Moxy as Mike Rynoski; vocals), Paul Dean (ex-Streetheart/ex-Scrubbaloe Caine; guitars/vocals), Jim Clench (ex-April Wine/ex-BTO; bass and replaced shortly after by Scott Smith), Doug Johnson (keyboards), and Matt Frenette (ex-Streetheart; drums, who replaced Bernie Aubin, who left to join the Headpins).
Reno claimed that the name Loverboy was chosen from a dream by Paul Dean, who had had come up with the name after spending the previous night with some of the band mates including Reno and their girlfriends who were browsing through fashion magazines. An ad in one of the magazines was for cosmetic company Cover Girl. The name Cover Girl became Cover Boy, and then became Loverboy in Dean's dream later that night. The group, made its live debut opening for Kiss at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, B.C. on November 19, 1979. Shortly after this show, Clench was replaced by Scott Smith. Their self-titled album appeared in 1980.
The band's follow-up, Get Lucky (1981), was released when they were opening for Journey, included the hit tracks Working for the Weekend and When It's Over. It became their best selling album in the US, reaching No. 7 on the Billboard album charts and selling over four million copies. In the same year, Loverboy received six Juno Awards (Canada's highest award for music) in one year, a record that still stands today.
Keep It Up arrived in November 1983. Its first single Hot Girls in Love became their most successful to that date, reaching No. 11 on the US charts. The video for the song, as well as for the follow-up single Queen of the Broken Hearts, were hugely popular on MTV, and the band embarked on its first tour as headliners.
In 1984 the band recorded the United States Team theme for the 1984 Summer Olympics, Nothing's Gonna Stop You Now. The song appeared on The Official Music of the 1984 Games but never on any of their albums or compilations.
Also in 1984, the band recorded a song called Destruction which appeared on the 1984 soundtrack of a re-edited version of the 1927 film Metropolis.
Lovin' Every Minute of It (1985), with the title single, and This Could Be The Night co-written by Journey's Jonathan Cain became their first and second US Billboard top 10 hits respectively.
In 1986 the band recorded Heaven in Your Eyes, a song featured in the movie Top Gun. The track peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard charts.
The release of Wildside (1987) sold relatively poorly despite a minor hit with the Notorious track. The Loverboy greatest-hits album, Big Ones, was released later that same year, to fulfill the band's obligation to 'Columbia Records'. The band soon after broke up in 1988 due to the departure of Johnson and creative and personal differences between Dean and Reno. There was a brief reunification tour to support that greatest hits album in late 1989 (with Geraldo Valentino Dominelli on keyboards in Johnson's place).
On October 6, 1991 the band reunited to join Bryan Adams, Colin James, Chrissy Steele and Bill Henderson of Chilliwack at a benefit show at Vancouver's 86 Street Music Hall to raise over $50,000 for Henderson's former bandmate, Brian MacLeod, who was fighting cancer and undergoing treatment at a Houston medical clinic. The band enjoyed it so much, they reunited.
The band's record label released their second and third compilation albums, Loverboy Classics and Temperature's Rising, in 1994. The Six album followed in 1997; Loverboy Classics went Gold in 1998.
The band went on to release a live album, Live, Loud and Loose, in 2001, which consisted of refurbished early live concert recordings from the band's intense touring years from 1982 to 1986.
Loverboy celebrated 25 years together in 2005 and began to perform in selected cities to commemorate it.
In 2006, twenty-five years after its initial release, Get Lucky was remastered and re-released with several previously unreleased songs, including the original demo of Working for the Weekend.
Just Getting Started came in 2007.
The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the 2009 Juno Awards.
On February 21, 2010, the band performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics awards ceremony.
Rock 'n' Roll Revival arrived next in 2012, with Unfinished Business, following in 2014.
In 2015, Loverboy appeared at the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, that country's largest free music festival.