Billy Idol Biography

(British-American Singer Who was the Lead Singer of the English Punk Rock Band 'Generation X')

Birthday: November 30, 1955 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Stanmore, Middlesex, England, UK

Billy Idol is a punk rock musician who rose to fame as a member of the band Generation X. Born as William Michael Albert Broad, he adopted the name Billy Idol when he embarked on a musical career. He was a bright teenager though he was not really academically inclined. His teacher had once called him “idle” and as a joke, he started calling himself “Idol”! His parents wanted him to go to college and he enrolled at the Sussex University to pursue a degree in English. However he found studies to be extremely boring and dropped out within a year to join the Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans. At the initial stages of his musical career he played the guitar for the band Chelsea. Along with a band mate Tony James he co-founded Generation X and he made a switch from being the guitarist to become the lead singer. The team went on to release three successful albums and was one of the first punk bands to be featured on the BBC Television music programme ‘Top of the Pops’. He built up a “bad boy” image which was well loved by the fans of rock music when he embarked on a solo career post the disbanding of Generation X.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In November

Also Known As: William Michael Albert Broad

Age: 68 Years, 68 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Linda Mathis

siblings: Jane

children: Bonnie Blue, Willem Wolf Broad

Born Country: England

Quotes By Billy Idol Rock Musicians

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

City: London, England

More Facts

education: Ravensbourne School for Boys, Worthing High School for Boys, Brighton Polytechnic,

  • 1

    What is Billy Idol's most famous song?

    One of Billy Idol's most famous songs is "White Wedding."

  • 2

    Has Billy Idol ever acted in movies?

    Yes, Billy Idol has appeared in several movies, including "The Wedding Singer" and "The Doors."

  • 3

    Where was Billy Idol born?

    Billy Idol was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, England.

  • 4

    What is Billy Idol's signature look?

    Billy Idol is known for his trademark bleached-blonde spiky hair and rebellious punk rock style.

  • 5

    Is Billy Idol still performing concerts?

    Yes, Billy Idol continues to perform live concerts and tours around the world.

Childhood & Early Life
He was born as the eldest child of Bill and Joan Broad. He has one younger sister, Jane.
He attended the Ravensbourne School for Boys before moving to the Worthing High School for Boys.
He went to the Sussex University in 1975 to pursue a degree in English. But he left after a year as he had no academic ambitions.
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He began his musical career as a member of the punk rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1976. After a short stint he quit to join Chelsea as a guitarist in 1977. Here he met Tony James.
Idol co-founded the band Generation X in which he became the lead singer. Tony James played the bass while John Towe and Bob Andrews played the drums and guitar respectively. The band’s first single ‘Your Generation’ was released in 1977.
The band released its self-titled album ‘Generation X’ in 1978. It contained the singles ‘Ready Steady Go’, ‘Listen’ and ‘From the Heart’. It was followed by the release of their second album ‘Valley of the Dolls’ in 1979 which had the hit single ‘King Rocker’. The band broke up in 1980.
Idol went to New York City in 1981 to pursue a solo career. By now he had created a “bad boy image” for himself which was much loved by the rock fans. He found a new partner in Steve Stevens who played the guitar.
He released an Extended Play (EP) titled ‘Don’t Stop’ in 1981. It featured a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ song ‘Mony Mony’. The popularity of the EP prompted him to release his full length album, ‘Billy Idol’ in 1982.
His next album ‘Rebel Yell’ was released in 1983. He collaborated with Steve Stevens and Keith Forsey to make this highly successful album. The album spawned four singles which reached the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts.
In 1986, his next album ‘Whiplash Smile’ was released. It had the singles ‘To Be a Lover’, ‘Sweet Sixteen’, and ‘Don’t Need a Gun’. He also filmed a video for ‘Sweet Sixteen’.
During the 1990s he released only two albums, ‘Charmed Life’ (1990) and ‘Cyberpunk’ (1993). The latter was an experimental move and was recorded in a home studio. It was however a flop and received negative reviews.
He suffered from several personal and health problems during the 1990s because of which he could not concentrate much on his career. After a long time, he released his album, ‘Devil’s Playground’ in 2005. He embarked on a world tour of rock festival appearances in 2005 and 2006 in support of this album.
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His last album till date is ‘Happy Holidays’ which was a Christmas album released in 2006. It included several popular traditional Christmas songs and some original compositions.
Major Works
His album ‘Rebel Yell’ is his biggest success so far. The album peaked at No.6 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and had the highly popular singles ‘Rebel Yell’, ‘Eyes Without a Face’, and ‘Flesh for Fantasy’. The album went multi platinum in Canada and the U.S.
The album ‘Whiplash Smile’ also went multi platinum in Canada and Platinum in the U.S. The single ‘To Be a Lover’ was a big hit and reached No.6 in the U.S.
Awards & Achievements
He won the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Video from a Film for the video ‘Cradle of Love’ in 1990.
He also won the BRIT Award for Best British Video for the same video in 1991.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was in a long term relationship with Perri Lister with whom he has a son. He was involved with another woman Linda Mathis with whom he has a daughter.
Facts About Billy Idol

Billy Idol's real name is William Michael Albert Broad, but he adopted his stage name from a schoolteacher's description of him as "idle."

In addition to his successful music career, Billy Idol has also tried his hand at acting, with roles in movies such as "The Wedding Singer" and TV shows like "Californication."

Billy Idol is known for his distinctive sneer, which he developed after being inspired by the punk rock scene in the 1970s.

Despite his rock star image, Billy Idol is an avid gardener and enjoys spending time tending to his garden when he's not performing.

Billy Idol is a motorcycle enthusiast and has a passion for riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles, often incorporating them into his music videos and stage performances.


ASCAP Film And Television Music Awards
1991 Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)
MTV Video Music Awards
1990 Best Video from a Film Billy Idol: Cradle of Love (1990)
1990 Best Video from a Film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)

See the events in life of Billy Idol in Chronological Order

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