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Vince Neil is the lead singer of Mötley Crüe and a reality TV show veteran.
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Vince Neil jokes that it was his long blond hair that prompted Tommy Lee and Nikki Six to recruit him as the lead singer of Mötley Crüe. The '80s hair metal band built its bad-boy reputation on hits like "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Dr. Feelgood" and their sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll lifestyle.
Singer and musician. Born as Vince Neil Wharton on February 8, 1961 in Hollywood, California to Odie and Shirley Wharton. The family moved around greater Los Angeles several times during Neil's childhood, passing through Inglewood and Watts before settling in Glendora. There Neil attended Royal Oak High School, where he met Tommy Lee, a drummer and future Mötley Crüe band mate. Neil was much more interested in music and the rock n' roll lifestyle than in school, and he was eventually expelled for fighting and drug use. He even lived for a time in Tommy Lee's van after getting into too much trouble with his own family. During this time, Neil became more and more engrossed in the resurgence of hard rock that would later define the 1980s Los Angeles sound: "I was born and raised in L.A. and all of a sudden the music scene just burst into Hollywood… And we were lucky enough to be one of the young bands that were up and coming at the time. It was a cool scene. The streets were packed with guys who were in bands or wanted to be in bands, and with girls who wanted to meet a guy who looked like he was in a band."
In 1980, Vince Neil joined a band called Rock Candy as a vocalist and began touring the L.A. club scene with his new act. Meanwhile Tommy Lee and bass guitarist Nikki Six began rehearsing together as Mötley Crüeon January 17, 1981, along with guitarist and vocalist Greg Leon. When Leon opted out, Lee and Sixx approached Vince Neil about joining the band, but Neil was reluctant to leave Rock Candy. A few months later, though, after watching his Rock Candy band mates pursue their own side projects, Neil finally signed on with the Crüe. Neil, Sixx, Lee and guitarist Mick Mars soon recorded 1981's Too Fast for Love, launching Mötley Crüe's rise toward stardom. In the same year, Neil married his first wife, Beth Lynn, with whom he later had a daughter, Elizabeth Ashley, in 1983. The band's debut album was quickly followed in 1983 by the quadruple-platinum-selling Shout at the Devil. The Crüe's music was equally heralded, and derided, for its open praise of sex, drugs, drinking and violence.
With his long blond hair, shrieking falsetto, and outrageous costumes and makeup, Vince Neil epitomized the hair metal front man. "I had the longest hair in high school," Neil says, jokingly claiming that it was his hair that made Tommy Lee and Nikki Six interested in his vocals, not to mention their shared love of women and Jack Daniel's whiskey.
After three years of touring, hard partying and excessive drug use, Vince Neil's lifestyle caught up with him in 1984. On December 8 of that year, the legendary Finnish metal band Hanoi Rocks arrived in L.A. and drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley and some of his band mates spent the day with Neil in Redondo Beach.
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