[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bi_6829.gif]] William Michael Albert Broad, better known as '''Billy Idol,''' is a rock musician most commonly associated with his heyday in TheEighties, where he was a huge star on Creator/{{MTV}}. He is most famous for the songs "White Wedding", "Rebel Yell" and "Dancing With Myself", which are radio staples to this day.

William Michael Albert Broad grew up in England (with a few years living in New York as a kid), and went to Sussex University for an English degree. He dropped out after a year, and instead focused on punk rock. He joined the band Chelsea as a guitar player, but he and Tony James left the band to form Generation X. This band differed from some punk rock bands, being more openly influenced by 1960s rock and pop, setting a precedent for Billy's career. Signing with Creator/ChrysalisRecords, Billy transitioned from guitar to lead singer, an easy sell thanks to his good looks and charm. The band lasted for three albums, but after getting dropped from Chrysalis, they collapsed at the dawn of the 80s in a mess of drugs.

Billy took the opportunity to pursue a solo career, and teamed up with guitarist and new songwriting buddy (and {{Heterosexual Life Partner|s}}) Steve Stevens. As Billy likes to tell the story: he'd been given pictures of Rick Springfield(!) by his manager, and told that maybe he'd become a star if he cleaned himself up a bit. Billy was ''not'' enthused by this feedback, yet after being the founder of a relatively popular punk rock band, he wondered who or what he was now, as an individual. His question was answered one night in a New York club, when most people were sitting on sofas and chairs until the DJ put on Generation X's "Dancing With Myself," at which point the crowd came unglued and fllled the dance floor. Suddenly realizing he was the only one left at the bar because of ''his own song,'' he had a EurekaMoment, and realized he could just be himself. And the rest is history.

Back on Chrysalis Records once more, Idol remixed "Dancing With Myself" and released it under his own name, which became his breakthrough single. He put out an EP, ''Don't Stop,'' and quickly followed it with a SelfTitledAlbum, both of which saw big success. The self-titled contained what would be another iconic song, "White Wedding," and it went gold in the US. Follow-up album ''Rebel Yell'' went ''double platinum,'' and the title track from that album became yet another huge radio staple. As he correctly gambled on, Billy's trademark punk/pop style (not to mention his photogenic looks shining through his old school punk rock fashion sense) proved a smash success, and he spent the 80s an [=MTV=] darling.

Somewhere between the release of 1986's ''Whiplash Smile,'' and remix album ''Vital Idol'' (also big hits), Steve Stevens started to find further success outside of touring and recording with Billy, who had become increasingly reliant on drugs behind the scenes. They split up at the end of the 80s, and Billy attempted to bounce back with 1990's ''Charmed Life,'' preceded by radio favorite "Cradle Of Love." Around the release of the album, Billy suffered another setback with a motorcycle accident, leading him to shoot a music video and do promotional appearances sitting down, and using a cane for some time. ''Charmed Life'' sold well enough, but Billy decided that with the dawn of TheNineties, it was time for a change.

Billy spent much of his recuperation time reading up on the {{Cyberpunk}} genre, and fixated on it to the point that he decided to construct a NewSoundAlbum based around that. He bought a Macintosh computer, and got himself an email address to begin chatting online with fans. This was in 1992-1993, so all this was incredibly novel for the time. Billy, now sporting a mean set of dreadlocks, recorded the new album with [=ProTools=] and Studiovision, adopting a newfound interest in putting social commentary in his lyrics after seeing the L.A. riots. He even had floppy disks made that included a screensaver to be packaged with his new album. Some of you may be wondering why you never hear much about Billy doing all these innovations in multimedia and promotion, and the answer is that, well, the resulting album was ''Cyberpunk.'' The album, which surprised audiences by being rife with electronic dance elements (including a now-infamous cover of Music/TheVelvetUnderground's "Heroin"), met critical scorn, and it stalled out on the charts. To say the least, it's his most controversial album.

After surviving a drug overdose, Billy cleaned himself up, but didn't release another album during the decade due to label disputes, though he and Steve Stevens reunited to put out the single "Speed" from the soundtrack to [[Film/{{Speed}} the movie of the same name]]. Billy got back in the public eye once again with a memorable cameo in ''TheWeddingSinger'' ("You don't talk to Billy Idol that way!!!") Finally, in 2005, Billy made his comeback with ''Devil's Playground,'' which was an undeniable return to form, musically. A Christmas album soon followed (produced as an old vocal pop album) simply titled ''Happy Holidays.''

To coincide with his 2014 album ''Kings & Queens Of The Underground,'' Billy put out an autobiography, titled, of course, ''Dancing With Myself.'' Billy continues to tour to this day, still with longtime collaborator Steve Stevens.

!!!Studio Discography:

* ''Don't Stop'' (1981) (EP)
* ''Billy Idol'' (1982)
* ''Rebel Yell'' (1983)
* ''Whiplash Smile'' (1986)
* ''Vital Idol'' (1987) (remix album)
* ''Charmed Life'' (1990)
* ''Cyberpunk'' (1993)
* ''Creator/{{VH1}} Storytellers'' (2002) (live album)
* ''Devil's Playground'' (2005)
* ''Happy Holidays'' (2006)
* ''Kings & Queens Of The Underground'' (2014)

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!!Billy Idol contains examples of the following tropes:
* AwesomeMcCoolname: ''That's'' a classic rock star name.
* BadassGrandpa / CoolOldGuy: Fills arenas even as he reaches his 60s.
* BodyHorror: The video for "Shock To The System" features a guy getting beaten up and his camera smashed (in an obvious allegory for the LA riots) and then stop-motion ''merging'' with his camera to form a weird cyborg-looking thing. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx2fZU5USus It's kinda messed up.]]
* BreakupBreakout: Man, did he ever.
* BreakupSong: "Eyes Without a Face", which also takes some cues from the eponymous film.
* ConceptAlbum: The infamous ''Cyberpunk.''
* CoverVersion: "Mony Mony" by Tommy James & The Shondells, "To Be A Lover" by William Bell, "L.A. Woman" by Music/TheDoors, and "Heroin" by Music/TheVelvetUnderground.
* TheDeadCanDance: The video for "Dancing With Myself."
* DelinquentHair: His famous bleached-blond spikes.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: [[https://e.snmc.io/lk/l/l/e50a618030b21709f93307ed65e73b3c/1808612.jpg The original cover]] of his self-titled debut, on which Billy, as opposed to his signature punk rock look, is instead wearing a very gaudy shirt.
* FanService: Billy's never been shy about taking his shirt off, in videos and on stage.
* GameBreakingInjury: [[DefiedTrope Defied!]] A motorcycle accident left him off his feet for a long time, but he spent that time reading up on the {{Cyberpunk}} subgenre, buying an Apple computer, and working on new music based off that.
* GratuitousFrench: In "Eyes without a Face", before the TitleDrop the same phrase is said in French, possibly as a ShoutOut to [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053459/referencethe eponymous French movie.]]
* GreatestHitsAlbum: ''Vital Idol'' (which is a Greatest Hits Remixed album), ''Idol Songs'', ''Greatest Hits'' and ''The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself''.
* HesBack: ''Devil's Playground,'' his comeback album in 2005, made damn sure you knew right out of the gate that he was playing rock and roll again (after all, his last album was 1993's poorly-received ''Cyberpunk'').
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Steve Stevens. Idol managed to drive him away with his drug-fueled antics for a while, but once he had sobered up, Stevens was back on board almost immediately.
* HiddenDepths: Wrote his own autobiography without a ghostwriter, which is pretty impressive considering the sheer amounts of drugs he was on at various points in his life.
* IntercourseWithYou: "Rebel Yell" and "Soul Standing By". And ''especially'' "Flesh For Fantasy."
* ItWontTurnOff: The video for "Cradle Of Love", where the man who lets the girl next door play her song and goes crazy in his apartment tries to turn off the music, even by pulling the plug on the stereo.
* LargeHam: It's ''Billy Idol!'' The sneer, the shameless mugging, that growling baritone vocal; the man is a born showman.
* MetalScream: "WITH A REBEL YELL, SHE CRIES MORE, MORE, MORE... OWWWW!!!"
* MoneySong: "Mony Mony" ([[CoveredUp which is a cover...]])
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Cyberpunk'' was recorded with an Apple computer and was his first [[DorkAge (and last)]] attempt at a ConceptAlbum.
* OlderThanTheyLook: He's in his sixties now, but still looks 40-something. Not bad for a guy in the business this long.
* PerformanceVideo: "Rebel Yell."
* PopPunk: More inclined towards {{New Wave|Music}}, but still. Something of an UnbuiltTrope, as Billy's music was a poppy, almost contemporary take on punk rock long before the style crystalized in the mid-1990s.
* TheQuincyPunk: His signature aesthetic!
* RockStarSong: "Kings & Queens of the Underground" -- ''heavily'' inspired by his memoirs, which he was writing at the time.
* ScaryMusicianHarmlessMusic: Billy looks like he should be in an underground punk band. Instead, he was a teen idol, top 40 mainstay on MTV during TheEighties.
* SelfTitledAlbum: His debut full-length in 1982.
* ShotgunWedding: "White Wedding." (and people still play in weddings, [[IsntItIronic based on the title alone]])
* SomethingSomethingLeonardBernstein: Just what the hell are those backup singers saying during "Mony Mony"?
** AudienceParticipationSong: They're actually yelling "HEY MOTHERFUCKER GET LAID GET FUCKED". The song is a live performance, after all.
* SongOfSongTitles: The song "Kings & Queens of the Underground", in which he looks back on his career, has him name-dropping several of his most famous songs.
* StageNames: Real name William Michael Albert Broad. He apparently chose it because his teachers described him as "idle."
* SubduedSection: Inverted in "Eyes without a Face".
* VerbalTic: "OWW!"
* ZombieApocalypse: The "Dancing With Myself" video again.
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