Billy Idol

Few emerged from the first full-blooded explosion of punk with long-term careers, but former Generation X frontman Billy Idol achieved longevity and cult status as one of the 1980s' most revered rock artists. Born as "William Michael Albert Broad" in London, England, on November 30, 1955, he played a role in several key bands during his earlier years, serving as a member of Siouxsie & the Banshees (before they had a name) and joining Chelsea as a guitarist before leaving to found Generation X with Tony James. As the dynamic blond-haired singer, Idol was one of punk's coolest figures, making three albums with Generation X and starring in the documentary movie D.O.A before moving to New York to launch his solo career. His self-titled solo album was released in 1982 and became an instant success, propelled by the single "White Wedding." His 1983 album Rebel Yell was an international hit, as well, with the title track and the ballad "Eyes Without a Face" becoming enduring hits of the decade. 1986's Whiplash Smile and 1990's Charmed Life both earned platinum sales in the US, while 2005's Devil's Playground and 2014's Kings & Queens of the Underground helped maintain Idol's status as a cult icon. Active on the concert circuit, he continued making occasional trips to the recording studio, issuing the EP The Roadside (featuring his first single in seven years, "Bitter Taste") in 2021.

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