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Green Day
Green Day - Hella Mega Tour - August 10, 2021.jpg
(L–R): Touring member Jason White, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Mike Dirnt performing in August 2021
Background information
Also known as
  • Blood Rage (1987)
  • Sweet Children (1987–1989, 2015)
  • Blair Hess (1993)
Origin East Bay, California, U.S.
Years active 1987–present
Past members

Green Day is an American rock band formed in the East Bay of California in 1987 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, with drummer Tré Cool joining in 1990. In 1994, their major-label debut Dookie, released through Reprise Records, became a breakout success and eventually shipped over 10 million copies in the U.S. Alongside fellow California punk bands Bad Religion, the Offspring, Rancid, NOFX, Pennywise and Social Distortion, Green Day is credited with popularizing mainstream interest in punk rock in the U.S.

At first, Green Day was part of the punk rock scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Its record label debut Dookie (1994) became a success. Soon, it sold more than ten million copies in the United States alone, and 15 million copies worldwide. The album was well reviewed and the band were praised for its music and sales. Green Day had three more albums after that, Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning. They were still successful albums, reaching double platinum, double platinum, and gold status respectively. However none of these albums sold as well as their first, Dookie. Green Day's 2004 rock opera American Idiot sold five million copies in the United States.

Green Day has sold roughly 75 million records worldwide as of 2024, making them one of the best-selling music artists. The group has been nominated for 20 Grammy Awards and won five of them, with Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", and Best Musical Show Album for American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.

Band history

Formation and Lookout years (1987–1993)

In 1987, Lookout! released Green Day's first album 39/Smooth. Green Day recorded two EPs: Slappy and Sweet Children. Lookout! Records released 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, an album that had the 39/Smooth, Slappy, and 1,000 Hours EPs in it. In late 1990, shortly after the band's first worldwide tour, Sobrante left the band. The Lookouts drummer Tré Cool became a replacement, and then became a permanent replacement because Sobrante did not want to come back. Green Day was on tour for most of 1992 and 1993, and played a lot of shows overseas in Europe. Its second album, Kerplunk, sold about 50,000 copies in the U.S., which was a lot for the punk band in 1992.

Breakthrough success (1994–1996)

Kerplunk's success made major record labels interested in Green Day, and they soon left Lookout! and signed with Reprise Records after getting the attention of producer Rob Cavallo. Signing to Reprise made many punk rock fans think Green Day as sellouts. After signing with Reprise, the band went to work on making its major label debut, Dookie.

Released in February of 1994, and recorded in 3 weeks, Dookie became a commercial success, making it to MTV for the videos of the songs "Longview", "Basket Case", and "When I Come Around", all of which made it to the number one position on the Modern Rock Tracks charts.

Insomniac was a darker, more punk release for the band than the poppier Dookie. Insomniac earned 4 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone Magazine, which said "In punk, the good stuff actually unfolds and gains meaning as you listen without sacrificing any of its electric, haywire immediacy. And Green Day are as good as this stuff gets." Insomniac won the band award nominations for Favorite Artist, Favorite Hard Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist at the 1996 American Music Awards. The video for "Walking Contradiction" got the band a Grammy nomination for Best Video, Short Form, and a Best Special Effects nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards.

In 1995, a new single for the Angus soundtrack was released, titled "J.A.R.". The single went straight to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. After that, Insomniac, Green Day's new album, was released in the fall of 1995. After that, the band stopped from going on a European tour so they could rest for a while.

Nimrod and Warning (1997–2000)

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A Green Day concert on one of their tours

In 1997, Green Day began to work on a new album. They came up with Nimrod. The new album was released in October 1996. The success of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" won the band an MTV Video Award for Best Alternative Video.

In 2000, Green Day released Warning, an album that had types of songs that Nimrod did. Though the Warning made the hit "Minority" and a smaller hit with "Warning", some observers thought that the band was losing popularity. Warning was certified gold by the RIAA.

At the 2001 California Music Awards, Green Day won all eight awards that they were nominated for.

American Idiot

In the summer of 2003, the band went into a studio to write and record new songs for a new album titled Cigarettes and Valentines. After making 20 tracks, the master tapes were stolen from the studio. The band was upset and chose not to try to re-create the stolen album, but instead start over with a vow to be even better than before. In this same year, Green Day went with Iggy Pop on two tracks for his album Skull Ring. They took "band therapy," talking for a long time to work out the members' differences after accusations from Dirnt and Cool that Armstrong was "the band's Nazi" and a show-off bent on taking the limelight from the other band members.

The 2004 album, American Idiot, was number one on the Billboard charts, the band's first ever album to top the chart, even with success of the album's first single, "American Idiot.

Through 2005, the band toured for about 150 days— visiting Japan, Australia, South America and the UK, where they had a crowd of 130,000 people in only two days. While touring for American Idiot, they filmed and recorded the two concerts at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England, which was voted 'The Best Show On Earth' in a Kerrang! Magazine Poll.

These recordings were released as a live CD and DVD called Bullet in a Bible on November 15, 2005. The DVD had a behind-the-scenes footage of the band, and showed how the band prepared to put on the show. The final shows of its 2005 world tour were in Sydney, Australia, and Melbourne, Australia, on December 14 and 17. On January 10, 2006 the band was awarded with a People's Choice Award for favorite group.

Green Day live in Germany during the American Idiot tour.

In 2006, Green Day won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" which spent 16 weeks at the number one position of Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks.

In an interview with Kerrang!, Billie Joe said that 2008 would "be a fair estimate of the release date of their new Untitled Eighth Studio Album." In October 2007, Billie Joe said more on this new album, saying he had been writing new songs on the piano, and had around 45 of them. He said he wanted the new music to dig into what he's feeling during that time - which is middle-aged.

In 2009 Kerrang! named American Idiot the best album of the decade, NME ranked it #60 in a similar list, and Rolling Stone ranked it 22nd.

¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! (2011–2014)

Green day Live 5 june 2013 in Rome
Green Day performing in 2013

During the end of 2011, the band played several secret shows (under the name Foxboro Hot Tubs) whose setlists consisted almost entirely of previously unheard songs. Green Day entered the studio and began recording new material in February 2012, later announcing a trilogy of albums titled ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! which would be released in fall 2012. The trilogy featured longtime touring guitarist Jason White joining the band in the studio as an additional musician. This marks the first time that White had played guitar on a Green Day album. That summer Green Day played several festivals and promotional shows including the Rock en Seine festival in France, the Rock am See festival in Germany, and the Reading Festival in the United Kingdom.

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Armstrong performing with Green Day in 2013

¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! were released on September 21, November 9, and December 7, 2012, respectively, and were met with generally positive reviews from critics, though fans were more lukewarm towards the albums. On March 10, 2013, Green Day began its 99 Revolutions Tour to support the trilogy. In June, Green Day broke Emirates Stadium attendance record with 60,000 tickets sold. The band played Dookie from start to finish on several dates on the tour's European leg, including during the Reading Festival 2013 headline show.

Demolicious, a compilation album that contains alternate versions and demos of songs from ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! recorded during the studio sessions of these albums, was released on April 19, 2014, for Record Store Day. It also contains a previously unreleased song called "State of Shock" and an acoustic version of "Stay the Night", from ¡Uno!.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Revolution Radio (2014–2018)

Green Day House OF Blues 2015 2
Green Day performing in Cleveland, Ohio in 2015

Green Day performed its first concert in a year on April 16, 2015. The group first played a set as Sweet Children with John Kiffmeyer, followed by a set as Green Day. On April 18, 2015, Green Day were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Fall Out Boy.

On April 24, 2015, Rob Cavallo revealed Green Day were recording a twelfth studio album. Cavallo claimed to have heard "five new songs that Billie has written and demoed", and that the fans should be "sure that when they do return, the music will be amazing". On December 24, 2015, Green Day released a Christmas song, "Xmas Time of the Year".

On August 11, 2016, Green Day released the first single, "Bang Bang", from the group's album Revolution Radio, which was released on October 7, 2016. The band went on a world tour supporting the album. In November 2016, the band performed at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles and made a political statement about the then-recent US election of Donald Trump by chanting "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" during their rendition of "Bang Bang".

Aaron Burgess at Alternative Press observed, "It's the first time in years Green Day haven't had all the answers. But as a statement on how it feels to fight, it's the closest to the truth they've ever gotten." Gwilym Mumford of The Guardian stated "[after their last few albums] the band have decided to get back to basics: Revolution Radio is their most focused work in years. Lead single "Bang Bang" sets the tone, with a caustic consideration of the fame-hungry psychosis of a mass shooter.

The band released their second greatest hits compilation, God's Favorite Band, on November 17, 2017. It contains 20 of their hits, along with two new tracks: a different version of the Revolution Radio track "Ordinary World", featuring country singer Miranda Lambert, and a previously unreleased song titled "Back in the USA".

Saviors (2023–present)

In November 2022, the band stated they were recording for a new studio album. The album was produced by Rob Cavallo, marking his first album working with the band since ¡Tré! (2012). Prior to the album's release, the band played a new song titled "1981" during their live performance at Festival d'été de Québec on July 16, 2023. On September 30, 2023, Green Day was announced as the halftime show at the 110th Grey Cup. The following day, the band launched a new website with the name "The American Dream Is Killing Me". Included on the website was a video appearing to tease new music, and a circled date of October 24, 2023, leading some news outlets to believe that it is related to their next album. Before the album's release, they played the first song, "The American Dream Is Killing Me", during a live show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 19, 2023, and announced a US tour for the summer 2024 with the Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, and the Linda Lindas. They played another song, titled "Look Ma, No Brains!", from the upcoming album during the When We Were Young Festival on October 22, 2023.

On October 24, 2023, the title of the new album was announced as Saviors, and the album's first single, "The American Dream Is Killing Me" was released. The album was released on January 19, 2024.


Current members

  • Billie Joe Armstrong – lead vocals, guitar (1987–present); harmonica (1997–present); piano (2008–present)
  • Mike Dirnt – bass (1988–present); backing and occasional lead vocals (1987–present); guitar (1987–1988)
  • Tré Cool – drums, percussion, occasional backing and lead vocals and guitar (1990–present)

Current touring musicians

  • Jason White – guitar, backing vocals (1999–present; session member in 2012)
  • Jason Freese – keyboards, accordion, saxophone, trombone, backing vocals, occasional acoustic guitar (2004–present)
  • Kevin Preston – guitar, backing vocals (2019–present)

Former members

  • Raj Punjabi – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1987–1988)
  • Sean Hughes – bass (1987–1988)
  • John Kiffmeyer – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1988–1990; one-off guest appearance in 2015)

Awards and nominations

Green Day has earned 214 award nominations and 92 wins.


Studio albums

  • 39/Smooth (1990)
  • Kerplunk (1991)
  • Dookie (1994)
  • Insomniac (1995)
  • Nimrod (1997)
  • Warning (2000)
  • American Idiot (2004)
  • 21st Century Breakdown (2009)
  • ¡Uno! (2012)
  • ¡Dos! (2012)
  • ¡Tré! (2012)
  • Revolution Radio (2016)
  • Father of All ... (2020)
  • Saviors (2024)

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Green Day para niños

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