Billie Joe Armstrong (born 17.02.1972)
Billie Joe Armstrong is an American Rock singer best known as the lead singer of punk rock band Green Day.
Billie Joe Armstrong: Childhood
Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Piedmont, California and grew up in Rodeo, California. His parents are jazz musician and truck driver Andrew Armstrong and Rod's Hickory Pit restaurant worker Ollie Jackson.
He attended Hillchest Elementary School in Rodeo where he recorded his first song 'Look for Love' at 5-years-old. He then attended John Swett High School, and later Pinole Valley High School in Pinole, California which he dropped out of.
His father died from esophageal cancer when he was 10 and he and his siblings didn't like their stepfather when their mother remarried.
At 10, he first met Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt.
He father bought him his first guitar which was a Cherry Red Hohner acoustic and his mother bought him his first electric guitar when he was 11, a Fernandes Stratocaster that he called 'Blue'.
Billie Joe Armstrong: Musical career
Billie Joe Armstrong formed his first band when he was 15 in 1987 called Sweet Children. Billie and Mike were on guitar, John Kiffmeyer was on drums and Sean Hughes was on bass. Hughes left the band after only a few performances and Billie Joe renamed the band Green Day after their love of cannabis.
They soon released debut EP '1,000 Hours' on Lookout! Records which they later combined with debut album '39/Smooth' and following EP 'Slappy' into the compilation '1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours in 1991.
Kiffmeyer left to go to college in 1990 and was replaced by Tre Cool. Tim Armstrong from punk band Rancid asked Billie Joe to join his band but he refused.
Green Day became mainstream with their third album 'Dookie' in 1994 and have since sold around 60 million records across the globe.
He has co-written for The Go-Go's, Penelope Houston and Rancid. He has also produced an album for The Riverdales and was part of a side project called The Network which released an album called 'Money Money 2020' on Adeline Records which Armstrong co-owns with his wife Adrienne.
In order to develop fresh ideas, Armstrong stayed in an apartment in New York City for some time. He fell into the wrong crowd of friends who spent most of their time drinking and he winded up getting arrested for driving under the influence on his way home in 2003.
In 2004, Green Day released 'American Idiot' which became a major number one hit selling $15,000,000 copies worldwide and even developing into a Tony winning stage musical in 2009 which Armstrong briefly starred in as drug dealer St. Jimmy.
In 2012, he announced the induction of Guns 'n' Roses into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In the same year he became a mentor for Christina Aguilera's team on 'The Voice'.
Billie Joe Armstrong: Personal life
Billie Joe Armstrong married Adrienne Nesser in 1994 four years after meeting her at one of his band's shows. They had their first child Joseph Marciano Armstrong in 1995 followed by another, Jakob Danger Armstrong, in 1998. Together they own Adeline Records.
He calls himself bisexual, and has said in the past that people struggled to accept it.
He went to rehab in 2012 for substance abuse after performing at the IHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas. Towards the end of the band's set, Billie Joe went on an angry rant when he thought their performance had been cut short and subsequently smashed up his guitar before walking off the stage.
In 2011, he was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight because his pants were too low. The airline later apologised and booked him for another flight.
In 2012, he was rushed to hospital with gastric problems and was forced to cancel his performance at the I-Day Festival in Bologna, Italy.