Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong Turns 40 Today

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(Photo courtesy of last.fm)

(Photo courtesy of last.fm)

Happy Birthday to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Green Day[/lastfm] frontman Billie Joe Armstrong!!

Jack FM can’t believe the guy who gave us Dookie is turning 40!!

Man, we feel old.

They are credited with reviving the popularity of punk rock in the mid ’90s.

Formed in Northern California in 1987, Green Day exploded onto the mainstream music scene seven years later with the release of their major label debut, Dookie.  Despite criticism from some in the punk community, Dookie was a worldwide commercial smash, selling more than 15 million copies and topping the charts in several countries.  In the U.S., the album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and earned the newcomers a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.  Dookie spawned five singles, including the No.1 Modern Rock hits “Longview,” “Basket Case” and “When I Come Around.”

Insomniac followed in 1995, with Nimrod in ’97 and Warning in ’00.  Although each album charted in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, sales fell short of expectations, and Green Day’s career began to wane.

However, that changed in 2004 with the ambitious American Idiot.  A rock opera that followed the life of the anti-hero “Jesus of Suburbia,” American Idiot returned Green Day to the top of the charts.  It sold an astonishing 14 million copies around the globe and went to No. 1 in the U.S., as well as in the U.K., Australia, Argentina, Canada, Ireland, Norway and Sweden.  The singles “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Holiday” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” were crossover hits, receiving heavy airplay on both rock and pop radio.  Five years after its release, American Idiot was turned into a popular Broadway musical, winning two Tony Awards in 2010.  A film adaptation is currently in the works.

In ’07, Green Day joined forces with other music superstars for the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.  It featured artists such as [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]U2[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]R.E.M.[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Aerosmith[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Lenny Kravitz[/lastfm] covering their favorite [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]John Lennon[/lastfm] classics, and sales from the album went to benefit Amnesty International.  Green Day’s version of “Working Class Hero,” which is Jack’s Song of the Day, was released as a single, and it landed at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Recently, it was announced that Green Day will be performing at this year’s Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, and just days ago, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong took to Twitter to let fans know recording for the band’s ninth studio album had begun.

Here’s Green Day performing “Basket Case” at the ’94 Woodstock Festival.  Anybody else feel like starting a mosh pit in the mud?!

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