Skip to content

Billy Idol: Rebel Yell Icon



Full Name: William Michael Albert Broad

Age: 67 (Birthday November 30, 1955)

Birthplace: Stanmore, Middlesex, England

Birth Sign: Sagittarius

Relationship Status: Divorced, in a relationship

Height: 5′ 9′′

Net Worth: $50 million

Social Media:

About Billy Idol

William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally as Billy Idol, is a British singer, songwriter, and musician who emerged from the punk rock scene in the late 1970s. With his signature sneer, bleached spiky hair, and rebellious attitude, Idol became a leading figure in the music video era of the 1980s. His edgy pop-rock style combining punk, dance, and glam influences created a unique sound that produced numerous hit singles.

Billy Idol‘s Prolific Career

After achieving success fronting the punk band Generation X from 1976-1981, Idol embarked on an acclaimed solo career starting with his self-titled debut album in 1982. Fueled by MTV airplay and worldwide touring, he gained massive popularity over the decade with top 10 albums ‘Rebel Yell‘, ‘Whiplash Smile‘, and ‘Charmed Life‘. Idol blended his punk rock roots with a danceable pop sound to create catchy anthems like "White Wedding", "Rebel Yell", "Eyes Without a Face" and "Dancing with Myself".

His creative music videos and dynamic live performances cemented him as a dynamic rock icon and sex symbol. Idol garnered Grammy nominations, American Music Award wins, and MTV Video Music Award wins while churning out hits. His widespread success earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. At 67 years old, the charismatic showman continues to tour and create new music, proving his enduring artistic vitality and cultural influence.

Milestones from a Remarkable Career

  • 1975 – Idol joins punk rock band Chelsea, later renamed Generation X, as lead singer and guitarist.
  • 1981 – Generation X disbands and Idol relocates to New York City to pursue a solo career.
  • 1982 – Debut solo album titled ‘Billy Idol‘ is released; includes hit singles "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself".
  • 1983 – Second studio album ‘Rebel Yell‘ is released and reaches #6 on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • 1984 – Iconic single "Eyes Without a Face" reaches #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • 1986 – ‘Whiplash Smile‘ album is released; single "Sweet Sixteen" becomes his first #1 hit.
  • 1987 – Earns Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
  • 1990 – ‘Charmed Life‘ album generates the top 10 single "Cradle of Love".
  • 1991 – Receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • 1993 – Releases the top 40 single "Shock to the System" and greatest hits album.
  • 2005 – Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
  • 2014 – Publishes best-selling autobiography ‘Dancing With Myself‘.
  • 2022 – New EP ‘The Roadside‘ is Idol‘s first release of new material in nearly 7 years.

Why Idol Has Enduring Appeal

Rebellious Attitude – Idol embodied the punk rock ethos and remained true to his artistic vision, carving out a unique path to success.

Showmanship – His electric stage presence and dynamic concert performances made him one of the most exciting live acts of the 80s.

Influence – Idol‘s edgy pop-rock fusion and pioneering music videos expanded the horizons of mainstream music.

Lasting Hit Songs – Decades later, anthems like "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding" still get crowds pumped up.

Sex Symbol Status – With his spiky blond hair, sneer, and leather outfits, Idol became a standard for rocker cool.

Reinvention – He‘s sustained a long career by evolving his sound and image while retaining his rebellious core.

5 Fascinating Billy Idol Facts

  1. Idol reportedly turned down a role in the 1982 film Grease 2, feeling it would damage his rock cred.
  2. He once lived with The Who bassist John Entwistle and was neighbors with The Clash‘s Mick Jones.
  3. The name "Billy Idol" was inspired by a schoolteacher‘s description of him as "idle" due to his behavior.
  4. Idol survived a serious motorcycle accident in 1990 that crushed his leg, temporarily halting his career.
  5. In 2001, he starred as himself in the animated comedy film Heavy Metal 2000.

Answers to Pressing Billy Idol Questions

How old is Billy Idol now?

As of 2022, Billy Idol is 67 years old. His birthday is on November 30, 1955.

What was the name of Billy Idol‘s first band?

His first band was the punk rock group Generation X, which he fronted as lead singer from 1976-1981.

What is Billy Idol‘s biggest hit song?

Idol‘s highest charting single is "Mony Mony" which hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982. His most iconic hits include "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding".

Is Billy Idol a member of the Rock Hall of Fame?

Yes, Idol was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his prolific solo career.

How much is Billy Idol worth?

Celebrity net worth sites estimate Billy Idol‘s net worth at around $50 million. His fortune stems from record sales, touring revenue, and business ventures over his lengthy career.