Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and occasional actor. He is best known as the lead vocalist, principal songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green Day, which Armstrong co-founded with Mike Dirnt. He is also a guitarist and vocalist for the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day's side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network.
Raised in Rodeo, California, Armstrong developed an interest in music at a young age, and recorded his first song at the age of 5. He met Mike Dirnt while attending elementary school, and the two instantly bonded over their mutual interest in music, forming the band Sweet Children when the two were 15 years old. They changed their name to Green Day in April 1989, choosing the name because of their fondness for marijuana.
That same year, they released their debut EP “1,000 Hours” through Lookout! Records. They recorded their debut studio album “39/Smooth” and the extended play “Slappy” in 1990, which were later combined with “1,000 Hours” into the compilation”1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours” in 1991. Tré Cool eventually became Green Day's drummer in late 1990 when original drummer Al Sobrante left Green Day in order to go to college. Cool made his debut on Green Day's second album, 1992’s “Kerplunk.” With their next album, 1994’s “Dookie,” the band broke through into the mainstream, and have remained one of the most popular rock bands of the 1990s and 2000s with over 60 million records sold worldwide.
Armstrong has also pursued musical projects outside of Green Day's work, including numerous collaborations with other musicians. Armstrong collaborated with the Comedy hip hop group The Lonely Island on their song “I Run NY” from “The Wack Album” released in June 2013. In October 2013, it was revealed that Armstrong and singer-songwriter Norah Jones would be releasing a duets LP. The album, consisting of covers from an Everly Brothers' album called “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us,” was titled “Foreverly” and released in November 2013.