Billy Idol (born William
Michael Albert Broad on November 30, 1955 in Middlesex, England) is a British-born hard rock
musician. Idol lived in Worthing before attending Sussex
University for only a year before joining the Bromley Contingent of keen The
Sex Pistols fans. During this period, Idol decided to become a musician
and formed a band called Generation X in 1976.
Generation X signed to Chrysalis
Records and released three albums before breaking up. Idol moved to New
York City and began working as a solo artist and began working with Steve
Stevens, soon becoming MTV staples with “White Wedding” and “Dancing
with Myself”. Idol’s second LP, Rebel Yell
(1984) was a
blockbuster success and established Idol’s superstar status in the United
Idol did not release a new
album until 1987;Whiplash Smile sold well, but failed to live up
to expectations. Stevens soon left for a solo career and Idol continued. A cover
James’ “Mony Mony” did well on MTV and Idol played Cousin Kevin in a
performance of Tommy.
Just before the release of Charmed
Life in 1990,
Idol was in a motorcycle accident in which he almost lost his leg. The album
sold extremely well, but Idol decided to take a break and acted in The Doors, directed by Oliver
Stone. The follow-up to Charmed Life was 1993’s Cyberpunk, which was a flop, and Idol sank
into drug addiction, nearly dying of an overdose in 1994.
Idol returned to the popular
eye in 1998, when he
played himself in “The Wedding Singer”, an Adam
Sandler and Drew Barrymore romantic
comedy, where “White Wedding” was used as the title track. Idol
appeared on VH1 Storytellers and issued a Greatest Hits
CD in 2001.
Devil's Playground, which came out in 2005, his first new
studio album in nearly twelve years.