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Billy Idol


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Billy Idol (born William Michael Albert Broad, 30 November 1955, Stanmore, Middlesex) is an English rock musician.

He first achieved fame in the punk rock era as a member of the band Generation X. He then embarked on a successful solo career, aided by a series of stylish music videos, making him one of the first MTV stars. Idol continues to tour with guitarist Steve Stevens and has a fan base all around the world.

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The name Billy Idol was inspired by a school teacher's description of Broad as "idle."[1]

Billy Idol lived in Worthing, England before attending Sussex University for only one year before joining the Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans. Idol first joined the punk rock band Siouxsie & the Banshees (before the band had decided on a name) in 1976, but soon quit and joined Chelsea in 1977 as a guitarist. However, he and Chelsea bandmate Tony James soon quit that group and co-founded Generation X, with Idol switching from guitar to lead singer.

Generation X signed to Chrysalis Records and released three albums before breaking up. Idol moved to New York and began working as a solo artist and working with Steve Stevens, soon becoming an MTV staple with "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself", the latter of which had originally been recorded with Generation X.

In 1983, in an effort to introduce Idol to American audiences not yet as familiar with him as those in England, "Dancing With Myself" was released in the U.S. in conjunction with a music-video (directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Jeffrey Abelson, and conceptualised by Keith Williams) that played in heavy rotation on MTV for six months. That video, in fact, sparked a whole new era of feature film directors trying their hand at music videos. Along with "White Wedding," the "Dancing With Myself" video helped make Idol a household name in America.

"White Wedding" was rumored to be a "nasty put down" by Idol and then-girlfriend Perri Lister, directed at Idol's sister for thinking that getting married was the answer to getting pregnant. In the 2001 recording of VH1 Storytellers, Idol refutes that, saying his sister's wedding was simply inspiration for the song, which quickly took on its own form. Years after the video, Idol's sister is still married with three children. Idol and Perri broke up in 1990. They have a son together named Willem Wolfe Broad.

Soon after, Billy Idol was involved in a relationship with a woman of the name Linda Mathis (born and raised in Pasadena, California). Though there was a thirteen year age difference, they began seeing each other regularly. At the age of 19, Linda became pregnant, and chose to move in with her mother to have her child. Linda had the child on 21 August 1989, and named her child Bonnie Blue Broad.

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