Walk of Fame Star for Billy Idol Unveiled in Hollywood

Rock in Rio 2022 - Day 5

Photo: Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Friday honoring pioneering punk singer Billy Idol for a career in which he sold more than 40 million albums and was one of MTV's first stars.

Fellow punk singer Henry Rollins and artist Shepard Fairey were among those joining Idol at the ceremony in front of the Amoeba Music store on Hollywood Boulevard.

An emotional Idol noted that his grandchildren were in attendance at the event, and he gave thanks to his fans who gathered for the ceremony.

"You are the best. Quite simply, I'm here today because of you, because of your love," he said. "You supported me all this time. Forty-seven years now I've been doing this."

The rocker said he was overwhelmed by the honor.

"It really is crazy to find myself getting an award like this, or being honored in this way," he said. "I mean, 47 years of doing this after I started in Generation X, and 35 years after coming here, I just really could never have imagined anything like this. Initially we did the music back in the mid-70s during the punk-rock time. There wasn't much hope or anything. We decided if there's nothing, there's no future, we're going to do what we love. And that's what I did. I did the music because I loved it. It wasn't for any other reason really. Anyway, I didn't really think doing this would last very long. We thought maybe six months, maybe a year, maybe two years. I could never have imagined something like this. It's just incredible."

The star is the 2,743rd since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the initial 1,558 stars and the first to be unveiled in 2023.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for Thursday but was delayed by one day due to this week's storms.

Idol's star was approved by the Walk of Fame's selection committee in 2019. There were no ceremonies from March 2020 through July 2021. Idol's schedule was also a factor in the scheduling of the ceremony, according to Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Idol and his grandchildren participated in the making of the star Monday.

Born William Michael Albert Broad on Nov. 30, 1955 in London, Idol began his music career in late 1976 as a guitarist in the punk rock band Chelsea, but soon left the group, joining former bandmate Tony James to form Generation X, with Idol serving as its lead singer.

The band made its first public performance at London's Central School of Art and Design on Dec. 10, 1976. It released its first three singles -- "Your Generation," "Listen," "Day by Day," "Wild Youth" and "Wild Dub" -- in 1977 and first album, "Generation X" in 1978.

Generation X released two more studio albums -- "Valley of the Dolls" in 1979 and "Kiss Me Deadly" in 1981 -- then disbanded. Idol headed to New York to embark on a solo career in collaboration with guitarist Steve Stevens.

The video for Idol's first single in his solo career, "Dancing with Myself," released in 1981, was heavily played on MTV, which was then in its first year.

Idol's first solo album, "Billy Idol," released in 1982, achieved gold record status. His second, "Rebel Yell," released in 1983, achieved double-platinum status for shipment of 2 million copies in the United States. His next two studio albums, "Whiplash Smile," released in 1986, and "Charmed Life," released in 1990, both achieved platinum status for shipping 1 million copies each.

Idol has had nine top 40 singles in the United States, including the 1987 live version of "Mony Mony," which reached No. 1, and "Cradle of Love," which rose to second in 1990.  His other top 40 singles were "Hot in the City," "White Wedding," "Eyes Without A Face," "Flesh For Fantasy," "To Be A Lover," "Don't Need a Gun" and "Sweet Sixteen."

Idol received the first of his three Grammy nominations in 1985 for best rock vocal performance, male, for "Rebel Yell." He was also nominated in the category in 1987 for "To Be A Lover" and in 1991 for "Cradle Of Love."

Idol's stage name stems from a chemistry teacher's description of Idol on his school report card as "idle." Idol has said the subject was one that he hated and in which he underachieved.

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