British musician and singer-songwriter Billy Idol rose to fame in the 1970s after emerging from London's punk rock scene, a popular genre of that era. He got his start playing with Chelsea, a group in London. He and a band member Tony James soon left the group to form Generation X with Idol as lead singer. Generation X successfully launched three albums on Chrysalis Records and performed in the film D.O.A. before disbanding. In 1981, Idol left for New York City to pursue a career as a solo artist in collaboration with American guitarist, songwriter and former Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. His self-titled studio debut album, Billy Idol along with the music videos for singles "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself" helped usher in the newly-established MTV.
From Idle to Idol
Billy Idol's birth name is William Michael Albert Broad. He was born November 30, 1965, in Stanmore, Middlesex. The family moved to Patchogue, NY when Idol was two years old but returned to England four years later, settling in Dorking, Surrey. They relocated again in 1971 to Bromley in the southeast of London. Idol enrolled at the University of Sussex in 1975 with the intent of earning a degree in English but left after one year. He joined Bromley's Sex Pistol fans as part of the punk rock group's entourage. During this time, the rising punk rocker wanted to use the name Billy Idle inspired by the comment "idle" from a Chemistry teacher on his school report card. He decided to use "Billy Idol" instead to eliminate confusion with Monty Python's Eric Idle. The "White Wedding" and "Dancing With Myself" music videos from his debut album led to the success of Idol's second album, Rebel Yell featuring single titles such as "Flesh for Fantasy," "Eyes Without a Face" and "Rebel Yell." "Eyes Without a Face" hit No. 4 on the US Billboard 100 chart and "Rebel Yell" made it to No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart. For more than four decades, Idol's music has been a mainstay for classic rock stations everywhere. His current latest release was his eighth studio album Kings & Queens of the Underground in 2014.
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Billy Idol and Bryan Adams, another hitmaker from the '80s, will co-headline a tour in the summer of 2019. The tour, scheduled August 1-12, will play in Uncasville, Conn.; Syracuse, NY; Wantagh, NY; Clarkston, Mich.; and Holmdel, NJ. The tour will end in Bristow, Va. on August 12.
Who are the members of Billy Idol's current band?
Billy Idol himself performs the lead vocals. Steve Stevens plays lead guitar and keyboards as well as performing backing vocals. Stephen McGrath is on bass and also performs backing vocals. Billy Morrison plays rhythm and lead guitar and performs backup vocals. Paul Trudeau plays keyboards, rhythm guitar, and sings backup. Erik Eldenius is the group's drummer.
What can I expect from Billy Idol?
You can be sure to rock out with Billy Idol's earliest hits including "White Wedding," "Rebel Yell," and "Cradle of Love" as well as music from his most recent release Kings & Queens of the Underground."
Who are some similar artists with upcoming concerts?