Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is turning 50 years old today!
Armstrong was born on February 17, 1972, in Oakland, California. The singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor is probably best known as the lead vocalist, the primary songwriter, and lead guitarist of the band Green Day, which he co-founded in 1987 with Mike Dirnt.
He’s also a guitarist and vocalist for the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder. He also provides lead vocals for Green Day’s multiple side projects: Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Network, The Longshot, and The Coverups.
Billie Joe Armstrong: Everything You Need To Know About The Green Day Frontman
Believe it or not, Billie Joe Armstrong recorded his first song when he was only five years old! He met Mike Dirnt when the two were still in elementary school and the two immediately bonded over their shared love of music. When they were both just 14 years old, they formed the band Sweet Children; they later changed the name to Green Day.
In addition to Green Day’s exhaustive music history, Armstrong also occasionally appeared in the “American Idiot” rock musical in the role of St. Jimmy throughout the show’s run. The musical focuses on three young men: Johnny, Will, and Tunny. Although Johnny and Tunny flee home and their overbearing parents, Will stays at home to work on his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend, Heather.
Armstrong and musical director Michael Mayer wrote the book about the musical; all scores were from the band’s original “American Idiot” album with a few inclusions from their 2009 concept album “21st Century Breakdown.” The musical won two Tony Awards: Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Lighting Design. It also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical. In 2011, the Broadway cast won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show.
Although we wish we could present you with the “American Idiot” musical, here are a few Green Day hits to help you celebrate Armstrong’s milestone birthday!
We may not be able to give you the musical, but we can still give you the album and the song that started it all!
“One of the great things about Green Day (beyond their music of course), is that unlike other punk rock bands at the time, they didn’t take themself so seriously that they always had to be edgy,” one fan wrote. “And this song and music video perfectly shows the serious and fun sides of Green Day.”
“This song is one of Green Day’s most popular songs, and yet it’s still underrated and doesn’t get the extreme appreciation it deserves,” another shared.
“A Green Day song that just gets better with age. That’s quite common with this band. Songs that stand the test of time,” another commented.
‘Jesus Of Suburbia’
“Jesus of Suburbia” is an underrated classic!
“Still to this day never understand how this song didn’t get the recognition it deserved!” one fan wrote. “It’s an actual masterpiece.”
“100% the best Green Day song ever,” another commented. “That may be bold, but think about how many songs take you on a 10-minute journey, like this one does, and have you still hungry for more. Homecoming is a close second.”
“Not one single on this album was skippable,” another wrote. “But this track right here, classic worthy on a Beethoven composer level. This song is like a beautiful painting full of mixed emotions, hormones, and rebellion.”
‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’
Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” at least once in their life?
“This song is one of those songs that just stays in your memory, forever,” one fan wrote.
“Green Day’s music will always be remembered, in short, these great songs are immortal and always will be,” another shared.
“Came back to this song after 5 years and it’s much more amazing than it was before,” another wrote.
“Growing up and listening to this music is now the most nostalgic thing!” another shared. “Amazing how sound has so much power.”
Billie wrote this song about an ex-girlfriend. There’s no music video for the song, so here’s a live version that shows Armstrong pouring out all of his emotion into the mic!
Still Not Enough Green Day For You?
It’s not enough for us, either! Take a look at the video above to listen to some more of Green Day’s best hit songs!