Billy Idol Biography
Billy Idol (born William Michael Albert Broad) is a British-American singer and songwriter. He rose to prominence in the 1970s as the main singer of Generation X, originating from the London punk music scene.
In 1981, Idol relocated to New York City and established himself as a solo artist, collaborating with former Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. Idol’s punk image blended perfectly with his new guitar partner, Steve Stevens’ glam rock approach. They collaborated with Phil Feit, the bassist, and Gregg Gerson, the drummer.
Idol was born on 30 November 1955 in Stanmore, Middlesex, England. His solo career began in 1981 with the Chrysalis Records EP Don’t Stop, which featured the Generation X song “Dancing with Myself,” originally recorded for their previous album Kiss Me Deadly, and a rendition of Tommy James & the Shondells’ song “Mony Mony.” Billy Idol, Idol’s debut solo album, was released in July 1982.
Idol became an MTV staple with “White Wedding” and “Dancing with Myself” during the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the United States in 1982. The music video for “White Wedding” was directed by David Mallet and aired often on MTV. A schoolteacher’s depiction of him as “idle” prompted the name “Billy Idol.”
Idol began his musical career as a guitarist in the punk rock band Chelsea in late 1976. He soon departed the organisation, however. Generation X was created by Idol and his former bandmate Tony James. The band was successful in the United Kingdom and recorded three albums on Chrysalis Records before disbanding. Idol relocated to New York City in 1981 to begin his solo career with guitarist Steve Stevens. Billy Idol, his debut studio album, was a commercial triumph. Idol quickly became a regular of then-newly-established MTV, with music videos for tracks “Dancing with Myself” and “White Wedding.”
Rebel Yell (1983), Idol’s second studio album, was a huge triumph, with smash songs “Rebel Yell” and “Eyes Without a Face.” The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album double platinum for sales of two million copies in the United States. Whiplash Smile was released in 1986. After three UK top ten singles (“Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding,” and “Mony Mony”), Idol released a greatest hits album titled Idol Songs: 11 of the Best in 1988, which went platinum in the UK. The next year, Idol released Charmed Life (1990) and the concept album Cyberpunk (1993).
Idol spent the second half of the 1990s keeping his personal life private. With the release of Devil’s Playground (2005) and Kings & Queens of the Underground (2006), he made a musical comeback (2014).
Idol was engaged in a terrible motorcycle accident in Hollywood on February 6, 1990, that nearly cost him his leg. He was hit by a car while cycling home from the studio one night after running a stop sign, necessitating the insertion of a steel rod into his leg.
Shortly before this, film director Oliver Stone cast Idol as Jim Morrison’s drinking buddy Cat in his film The Doors, but the injury prevented him from playing a large role, and Idol’s position was reduced to a minor one. He was James Cameron’s first choice to play the malevolent T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but the character was recast due to the accident.
Billy Idol Discography
|Kings & Queens of the Underground|
Frequently Asked Questions
Billy Idol is one of the most iconic figures in rock music. His career spans four decades, during which he has released numerous hit singles and albums. He is best known for his work in the 1980s, when he was one of the most popular artists in the world.
What Was Billy Idol’s First Band?
Billy Idol’s first band was Generation X. The band formed in 1976 and released three studio albums before breaking up in 1981. Idol then embarked on a solo career that has seen him release eleven studio albums and score numerous hits including “Rebel Yell”, “Eyes Without a Face”, and “White Wedding”.
How Many Hits Did Billy Idol Have?
Billy Idol is a English musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He first achieved prominence in the punk rock era as a member of the band Generation X. After leaving the group in 1981, Idol began his solo career with the release of his debut album Billy Idol in 1982. His second album, Rebel Yell (1983), was a huge commercial success that included the singles “Rebel Yell” and “Eyes Without a Face”. A successful stage performer, Idol also appeared as one of the leads in the 1986 film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
What Is Billy Idol’s Biggest Song?
“Catch My Fall” was Billy Idol’s first big hit in the United States, and it remains one of his most popular songs. The song peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982. “Catch My Fall” was written by Idol and Steve Stevens.