Axl Rose, whose real name is William Bruce Rose Jr., was born on February 6, 1962. He is an accomplished American musician, producer, singer, and songwriter known for his numerous hit songs. Rose rose to fame in the 1980s when he co-founded the band Guns N’ Roses. With the group, he showcased exceptional, unique vocals, which quickly catapulted him to fame. He has experienced both challenges and triumphs in his life. He pursued his passion without letting fear hold him back, and we’re celebrating this rock legend today.
William Bruce Rose Jr. was born on February 6, 1962, to Sharon Elizabeth and William Bruce Rose in Lafayette, Indiana. Rose’s parents were 16 and 20 respectively when he was born, and his mother was still in high school. Rose had a tough childhood. His father was a troubled delinquent, and the pregnancy was unplanned. When he turned two, his parents separated, which led to him being abducted and molested by his father, before he disappeared. His mother remarried and changed his last name to Bailey — his stepfather’s name. Although Rose thought Bailey was his biological father, he and his half-siblings were often beaten despite being in a religious household. To get away from his childhood trauma, Rose found solace in music.
He moved to Los Angeles in December 1982, started the band AXL, and legally changed his name to W. Axl Rose. Rose formed the band Hollywood Rose in 1983 and recorded a five-track demo in 1984 before its disbandment the same year. Thereafter, Rose joined L.A. Guns. Guns N’ Roses was formed in March 1985 by merging Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns. The band had several lineups by June and attracted several record labels. They eventually signed with Geffen Records in March of the following year. In July 1987, the band released their debut album “Appetite for Destruction” and it sold 500,000 copies in its first year and 30 million copies worldwide. In November 1988, the band released “G N’ R Lies,” which catapulted Rose into the limelight as one of the most prominent rock stars.
Following a disagreement with some bandmates, Rose legally purchased the full rights to Guns N Roses in 1997. The band soon went on a hiatus as the original bandmates were fired or they resigned. In 2008, 15 years after the band’s last album, “Chinese Democracy,” was released. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses. However, he declined to attend. In 2016, he toured with AC/DC as a fill-in vocalist for two dozen shows.
In terms of his personal life, he married Erin Everly in April 1990 but the marriage was annulled in January 1991. He got engaged to Stephanie Seymour in February 1993, however, the couple separated three weeks later.
Rose recruits his childhood friend, Izzy Stradlin, and Chris Weber — Slash and Steven Adler also join this band before its dissolution.
Tracii Guns merges the L.A. Guns with Hollywood Roses, creating Guns N' Roses.
After he changes his name, Rose signs a contract with Geffen Records.
The band releases “Appetite for Destruction.”
At the Freddy Mercury Tribute Concert, Rose performs with Elton John at Wembley Stadium.
Rose is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but declines to attend.
He tours with AC/DC as a fill-in vocalist for two dozen shows.
Why We Love Axl Rose
His unique voice
Axl Rose's voice is unmistakable and his distinctive and powerful vocal range sets him apart. He can easily transition between different styles and octaves, which is a hallmark of his talent.
His stage presence
He's known for his energetic and charismatic stage presence. His performances are dynamic and often include his iconic dance move, which fans know well and love.
His career endured for several decades. He garnered the respect and admiration of fans and peers alike, thanks to his dedication to his craft.
5 Surprising Facts
Rose was abused
Rose claims that he was abused as a two-year-old by his biological father.
His birth father was murdered
Although his body was never found, William Rose Sr. was murdered in 1984 by his criminal acquaintance, who was convicted of the crime.
He was arrested often
Rose became a known delinquent and was arrested more than 20 times for battery and public intoxication — he even served jail time.
He intentionally overdosed
In 1986, Rose intentionally overdosed on painkillers due to stress and his experience at the hospital inspired "Coma."
Rose has fathered no kids.
Axl Rose FAQs
What disease does Axl Rose have?
Rose has been clinically diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
What was Guns N' Roses's most successful song?
Subjectively, the band’s best song is ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine.’
How many tattoos does Axl Rose have?
Rose has over five visibly graphic tattoos.
Axl Rose’s birthday dates