Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is the lead vocalist, main lyricist and guitarist for the alternative rock band Green Day. He is also a guitarist and vocalist for the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and sings for garage rock band Foxboro Hot Tubs. He was the lead singer for new wave group The Network.
Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Oakland, California and was raised in Rodeo, California, (a town 24 miles north of Oakland), as the youngest of six children. His father, Andy Armstrong, worked as a drummer and truck driver for Safeway to support the family. He died of cancer on September 10, 1982 when Armstrong was 10. The song "Wake Me Up When September Ends", is a memorial to his father. He has five older siblings: David, Alan, Marci, Hollie, and Anna. His mother Ollie worked at Rod's Hickory Pit. Armstrong and Mike Dirnt got their first gig at Rod's Hickory Pit during their early years.
Armstrong's interest in music started at a young age. He attended Oakland's Hillcrest Elementary School, where a teacher encouraged him to record a song titled "Look For Love" at the age of five on the Bay Area label "Fiat Records". After his father died, his mother married a man whom her children despised, which made Armstrong retreat further into music. Armstrong dedicated a song to him called "Why Do You Want Him". At age 12 while attending Carquinez Middle School in Crockett, CA, he met Mike Dirnt, and they immediately bonded over their love of music. As a teenager he originally was into metal music, but got into punk after hearing the Sex Pistols song "Holidays in the Sun". Armstrong has also cited The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, both from Minneapolis, as major influences. He attended John Swett High School, also in Crockett, and then Pinole Valley High School, in Pinole, CA, dropping out on February 16, 1990, a day before his 18th birthday, to pursue his musical career.