Billie Joe Armstrong is the charismatic singer, multi-instrumentalist and frontman for Green Day. Born in 1972, Armstrong showed a remarkable interest in music from a young age, as evidenced by the fact that he recorded his first song, ‘Look For Love’, at the tender age of five. Armstrong was influenced early on by his father, a jazz musician, who tragically succumbed to cancer in 1982 when Armstrong was ten years old. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” was written in memorial to him. When Armstrong’s mother remarried a man he and his five siblings didn’t care for, he took to music as a means to express himself and feel understood. Armstrong’s brothers introduced him to punk music at a young age, and he now cites bands like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü as significant influences.
Armstrong met Mike Dirnt and became fast friends before forming the band Sweet Children at age 14 before eventually adopting the Green Day moniker in 1989. Armstrong’s most well-known work is obviously with Green Day, but he’s also a member of Pinhead Gunpowder, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Network and others. Green Day’s third album Dookie thrust the band into the mainstream and Armstrong became a household name. The band’s widespread fame gave Armstrong the opportunity to collaborate with artists like Iggy Pop, Lonely Island and The Go-Go’s. Green Day’s albums American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown continued to bring Armstrong and the group notoriety and acclaim, and in 2010 American Idiot was adapted for a stage show on Broadway.
Armstrong has had multiple appearances on television, from King Of The Hill to a mentoring role on The Voice. He’s tried his hand at acting in recent years, appearing in films like 2016’s Ordinary World. In early 2018, Armstrong released his debut solo album under the moniker The Longshot called Love Is For Losers and is now generally regarded as being one of popular music’s most important living musicians.