Billy Idol biography
SynopsisMusician Billy Idol was born November 30, 1955 in Middlesex, England. He joined the punk band Chelsea in 1976 and later left to form Generation X. In 1980 they had a hit U.S. single, Dancing with Myself. In 1981, Idol launched his solo career in New York City with the release of Don't Stop. After, he pulled together a new team, which released four successful records together.
Musician. Born William Albert Michael Broad on November 30, 1955 in Middlesex, England. While studying English Literature at Sussex University, Broad became a member of the Bromley Contingent, a group of followers of the Sex Pistols, which included members of the Clash and Siouxsie & the Banshees. He changed his name to Idol after a school teacher returned a paper proclaiming him "idle" in class.
Idol teamed with lyricist and bass guitarist Tony James, and together they joined the punk band Chelsea in 1976. Idol and James subsequently left and formed Generation X, taking the name from a book about 1960s youth rock culture. Though the band never toured the U.S., they did take it by storm in 1980 with their single Dancing with Myself. A breakup followed their second release, Kiss Me Deadly, due to managerial problems.
In 1981, Idol launched his solo career in New York City with the release of Don't Stop, which included two GENX remixes and a cover of Tommy James' Mony Mony. He pulled together a new team, including producer Keith Forsey, ex-Kiss manager Bill Aucoin and raven-haired New York guitarist Steve Stevens. They released four successful records together: Billy Idol, Rebel Yell, Whiplash Smile and Vital Idol.
Despite his legendary excessive lifestyle, Idol appeared in several charity shows. In 1988, he took part in Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert and the following year appeared in a charity performance of the Who's Tommy in London. A motorcycle crash in February 1990 seriously damaged his leg, but he recovered quickly to release Cradle Of Love (taken from the Andrew Dice Clay movie The Adventures Of Ford Fairlaine).
His attempt to rebrand his image with 1993's computer-driven Cyberpunk, but it was a notable commercial and critical failure. The following year he narrowly escaped death for a second time with a drug overdosed. Idol remained out of the public eye until the end of the decade when he made a cameo appearance in the Adam Sandler comedy The Wedding Singer.