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Green Day

Biography

Influenced by bands like the Clash, Operation Ivy and the Sex Pistols, Bay Area-slackers-turned-rock-stars Green Day set the market for pop-punk in the mid-'90s, and rode that success to critical and popular super stardom in the new millennium. Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool (who replaced original drummer Al Sobrante in 1990) came together in Berkeley, Calif., where they quickly became local favorites, frequently playing underground punk haven 924 Gilman St. Their first release, 39/Smooth, arrived in 1990, followed by the compilation 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and 1992's Kerplunk. The latter's success prompted Reprise to sign the group, and Green Day's major label debut, Dookie, dropped in 1994, yielding smash singles "Basket Case" and "Longview" (it was certified diamond in 1999). The band followed it with 1995's Insomniac, 1997's Nimrod and 2000's Warning. All were mildly successful compared to Dookie, though singles like "Brain Stew," "Minority" and "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" kept them comfortably in the spotlight. The release of 2004 concept album, American Idiot, however, saw the boys expand upon their sound and songwriting, earning them a Grammy for Best Rock Album, not to mention a whole new generation of fans. Green Day continued their evolution with 2009's 21st Century Breakdown, a three-act rock-opera opus that would provide even more justification to their superstar status.
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