Billie Joe Armstrong (born February 17, 1972) is the main songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist for Green Day.
Armstrong is the youngest of six children born in Oakland, California, and raised in Rodeo, California. His father, Andy, was a jazz musician and truck driver who died of cancer in the esophagus when Armstrong was ten. His mother was a waitress at Rod's Hickory Pit, where Billie and his friends Mike Dirnt and Brandon O'Lech worked during their teen years. Rod's Hickory Pit was where Armstrong and his band Sweet Children performed their first show. He insists that his name is spelled with an 'ie' because, according to the liner notes in 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, his mother was under the influence of drugs (painkillers) while giving birth to him. He is the only member of Green Day who uses his given name, as the other two members, Mike Pritchard (Mike Dirnt) and Frank Edwin Wright III (TrÃ© Cool), have switched to shorter nicknames.
Together, they are co-founders and part owners of the independent label Adeline Records, to which he has a side band called Pinhead Gunpowder with Green Day second guitarist Jason White which is on Lookout! Records. Armstrong has also worked as a producer, most notably in a co-production with noted punk producer Mass Giorgini, legendary producer/owner of Sonic Iguana recording studio, and Lafayette pop-punk band Squirtgun. He is also a member of the band The Network, along with the rest of the members of Green Day.
In a January 1995 interview with The Advocate, Armstrong stated that he is bisexual:
"I think I've always been bisexual. I mean, it's something that I've always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it's just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of 'Oh, I can't'. They say it's taboo. It's ingrained in our heads that it's bad, when it's not bad at all. It's a very beautiful thing."
In 2002 rumours had been circling that Billie Joe had died in a tragic car accident, until a statement on Green Day.net cleared things up.