Green Day BioGreen Day had its origins in the group Sweet Children formed by childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt in Rodeo, California when they were 14 years old. Drummer John Kiftmeyer was added to the group later and their name was changed to Green Day after one of their songs. The group independently released their first EP, 1,000 hours, in 1989. It was well received in punk circles. Soon after, they signed with independent label, Lookout! Records, run by Larry Livermore, and released their first album, 39 Smooth. Kiftmeyer announced that he was going to leave the group to attend college and suggested the band replace him with his former tutor, Tre Cool.
Kerplunk, Green Day's second album, was an underground success, and the group's cult following continued to grow. Next, they signed with Reprise Records. Dookie, their first release with a major label, was released in 1994. Thanks to an extended promotional tour and MTV's hyping of the single "Longview" the album became a mainstream hit. Momentum continued to build with the release of subsequent singles "Basket Case" and "When I Come Around," and more touring which included a show-stealing appearance at Woodstock '94. Dookie's sales topped 11 million internationally, and Green Day received a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance.
"There's nothing wrong with being a loser, it just depends on how good you are at it." ~ Billie Joe
In the fall of 1995, the group released their follow-up album, Insomniac. It entered the charts at number two and sold 2 million copies by the spring of 1996, but the subsequent singles were no where near as successful as those from Dookie. Claiming exhaustion, the group cancelled a European tour and spent the rest of the year resting and writing new material. The resulting album, Nimrod, is considered by many to be their best. Critically acclaimed, with singles "Hitchin' A Ride" and "Time of Your Life" climbing, respectively, to number 5 and 2 on billboard, Nimrod, like Kerplunk, failed to match Dookie commercially.
Warning: was released in the fall of 2000. Considered too folksy by diehard fans, singles like "Minority," and "Waiting" were, nevertheless, hits and Warning: went platinum. Next, Green Day gave rise to rumors that they were going to call it quits by releasing a greatest hits album International Super Hits and embarking on a Greatest Hits world tour. They also released the CD Shenanigans and their first DVD International Supervideos a compilation of all the group's previous videos.
"The album is as vibrant, powerful, and strong as any in the band's discography." ~ Lou Friedman, Music Today on American Idiot
But the rumors have been quashed for now with the success of the American Idiot single and album. Speaking of which, BBC News recently reported a story about a little boy from Wales named Corey George, who was in a coma for two weeks after being hit by a car on his ninth birthday. It seems he snapped out of the coma less than 2 hours after his mother decided to play American Idiot for him. Within a few days, he was transferred out of intensive care and on his way to what doctors hope will be a full recovery. Getting word of the near miracle, Green Day sent Corey a message along with a gift pack of CDs and t-shirts. A spokeswoman for the group stated, "They (Green Day) hope he continues with his recovery and makes a full return to health."
Green Day and Annie Lennox were the guests of honor at the 23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on May 22, 2006. ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) presented Green Day with the ASCAP Creative Voice Award, which is "bestowed upon an ASCAP member or group whose significant career achievements are equally informed by their creative spirit and by their contributions to the role that a creator can play in their community."
Green Day’s latest album, “21st Century Breakdown,” was released in May of 2009.
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