American rock musician Joel Madden is perhaps best known for being the co-founder of the band, Good Charlotte. Ever since he attended a Beastie Boys concert with his twin brother, Benji during their youth, the two were inspired to create their own music group. At the age of sixteen, the siblings formed their own collective, however it was short lived. Ultimately, it wasn’t until the late 90’s that they took another stab at their dreamーafter an inspiring trip to California, where most punk bands are created, they founded the group Good Charlotteーnamed after the children’s bookーwith the help of a few high school friends, Billy Martin, Aaron Escolopio, and Paul Thomas. Before the arrival of the new millennium, the five-men group landed a recording deal with Epic Records. With the label, they released their eponymous debut album, Good Charlotte in the fall of 2000. A moderate hit, it was later followed by the more successful, The Young and the Hopeless in 2002.
A greater success compared to their initial effort, their second studio albumーwhich remains to be their best-selling record to this dayーhas since sold over 3,000,000 copies in the United Statesーmaking it their first multi-platinum certified album in the country. Since then, Madden and the rest of Good Charlotte have released a total of six full-length albums, nineteen music videos, two extended plays, and twenty singles. Some of their most popular hits include: I Just Wanna Live, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, The Anthem, Dance Floor Anthem (I Don’t Want to Be in Love), and Like It’s Her Birthday. In addition, the punk rock band has also come out with three video albumsーVideo Collection (2003), Live at Brixton Academy (2004), and Fast Future Generation (2006), the first of which was later certified Platinum. Throughout the years, they’ve netted a handful of awards including an MTV Video Music Award, a Kerrang! Award, a MuchMusic Video Award, and an MTV Australia Award.
In 2011, Madden and Benji began working with music producer Pharrell Williams as a pop rock duo which they coined, The Madden Brothers. Despite a few delays and fallen plans, the twins eventually released their first studio album together entitled, Greetings from California under Capitol Records. Prior to that, they’ve also dropped a mixtape, and three singles. Outside of his work in music, Madden has gotten himself involved in a handful of shows on television. For instance, he made his motion picture debut playing an uncredited role in the film, Fat Albert in 2004. He later went on to appear in Live Freaky Die Freaky (2006), Material Girls (2006), and Empire (2015)ーthe last of which also marked his first time appearing on a television series.
So what has the punk rock vocalist been up to these recent months? What new ventures have he taken on either alone, or with his twin brother? What happened to Joel Madden? Where is he now in 2018?
Joel Madden’s Early Life and Music Beginnings
Born on March 11, 1979 in La Plata, Maryland, Joel Madden (Birth Name: Joel Rueben Combs) is the son of Roger Combs and Robin Madden; he has an older brother named Josh, a younger sister named Sarah, and an identical twin brother named Benji whom he’s extremely close to and shares his passion of music with. While still in his youth, his father left the family; all of his siblings were subsequently raised solely by their mother. Due to financial struggles, the family was often evicted from their home. Still, Madden managed to enjoy a childhood with his brothers and sister. In their teens, him and his twin attended a Beastie Boys concertーthe experience would ultimately inspire them to start their own band.
At the age of sixteen, Joel, Benji and a mutual friend founded a local music group, however it ultimately proved to be short-lived. It wasn’t until a few years later, after he had graduated from high school, that they gave their idea another shot. Following a trip to California, the birth-place of most high-profile rock bands, the twin brothers created a punk rock band called Good Charlotteーnamed after a popular children’s bookーwith a few of their high school friends, Billy Martin, Paul Thomas and Aaron Escolopio. Working to gain recognition, they subsequently recorded a few demo tapesーwith which they were eventually able to land a recording deal with Epic in 2000. That fall, Madden and his band released their self-titled debut album entitled, Good Charlotte.
Joel Madden’s Music Career with Good Charlotte
Their first professional release, Good Charlotte was produced by John Feldmann and Don Gilmore. Featuring various pop punk-oriented sounds, it boasted fourteen tracks including I Don’t Wanna Stop, I Heard You, Let Me Go, Screamer, Change, Thank You Mom, and East Coast Anthem; most, with the exception of two songs, were written entirely by Madden and his brother. As it happened, the album ended up being the only record to feature drummer Aaron Escolopio as he soon departed from the collective.
Generally well received upon its release on September 26, 2000, Good Charlotte was said to have been influenced by the rock album, A Place in the Sun by Lit. Although it garnered some comments about its belligerent and angry tone, the general consensus was positive; for instance, Entertainment Weekly gave the album a solid A- rating. In the United States, it managed to top the Billboard Top Pop Catalogue Albums Chart and also settled at number thirteen on the Top Heatseekers Chart. The album eventually went on to reach the charts of two other countriesーJapan and New Zealand. As of January 2003, three years after it was originally made available, it has been certified Gold by the RIAA for exceeding 500,000 sales.
On October 1, 2002, Good Charlotte dropped their second studio album, The Young and the Hopeless. Enlisting the help of John Feldmann and Eric Valentineーthe first of whom the group have worked with previouslyーfor its production, it contained another fourteen tracks; some of the titles from the disc include: The Day That I Die, My Bloody Valentine, The Story of My Old Man, Wondering, A New Beginning and Riot Girl. In support of the album, the group embarked on a three-year-long tour, which sent them to various venues around the world.
Upon its release, The Young and the Hopeless entered the US Billboard 200 at number seven; it eventually went on to sell approximately 117,000 copies within the first week. A smash hit, it practically flew off store shelves. Despite the commercial success of the album however, opinions on it were greatly divided; while some lauded the band for having put forth a solid performance, others were more critical about the album, describing it to be “downright predictable”. To put it into perspective, NME gave it an 8/10 rating while the Rolling Stone gave it a 2/10 rating. Nonetheless, The Young and the Hopeless saw the release of five singles including The Anthem, Girls & Boys, Hold On, The Young & the Hopeless, and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. It also charted in numerous charts including the US Top Internet Albums, the Billboard Comprehensive Albums, the Top Pop Catalogue Albums Charts, amongst several others overseas. Currently their best-selling album, it has since sold more than 3,000,000 copies, garnering it 3x Platinum accreditation from the RIAA.
A couple of years later, their third studio album entitled, The Chronicles of Life and Death were released via Daylight Records. Recorded at Hollywood’s Barefoot Studios, the album had two versions: one that featured “Life” and another that featured “death”ーeach had a different bonus track at the end; both also had different cover art.
Often regarded as a departure from their previous works, the album was noted by many fans or being “emo”. Produced wholly by Eric Valentine this time, it came with fourteen standard tracks, some of which included I Just Wanna Live, Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death, The Truth, The World is Black, It Wasn’t Enough, and In This World (Murder). Depending on whether it was the “Life” or the Death” version of the album, the disc also featured either the track Falling Away, or Meet My Maker.
Another hit for the group, it found its way onto several charts including the US Billboard 200, and the Top Internet Albums Chart at number three and number one respectively. Met with comparable success overseas, it also charted in Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Italy, France and Finland, to name a few. Despite its commercial performance however, The Chronicles of Life and Death garnered mixed reviews from critics.
In the spring of 2007, Good Charlotte released their next full-length album entitled, Good Morning Revival. The first to feature drummer Dean Butterworth in the lineup, it was also the band’s last release with Daylight Records. Recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia and Los Angeles, California, it showcased thirteen different songs including Break Apart Your Heart, All Black, Something Else, Beautiful Place, Broken Hearts Parade, and March On. A few bonus tracks were also available in select versions such as those sold in Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Target.
Eventually spawning five singles, Good Morning Revival peaked at number seven on the US Billboard 200; it also found its way onto the Top Internet Albums, Top Rock Albums, and Top Digital Albums Chart in the United States. Similar to their preceding works, it also achieved spots on album charts in sundry different countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, and Germany, the list goes on. In spite of its commercial success however, reviews for the release were mostly negativeーmany critics panning the album for its underwhelming lyrics. The album was given a two star rating from the Rolling Stone and a one star rating from The Guardian.
Joel Madden with The Madden Brothers
With The Madden Brothers, a pop rock duo consisting of himself and his twin brother Benji, a debut studio album entitled, Greetings from California was released on September 12, 2014. Well received upon its release, the disc and its fifteen-song track list earned four stars from critics at Allmusic. To date, it remains to be the only full-length album which the siblings have put out.
What’s Joel Madden Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Over the past few months, there have been rumours about the 37-year-old rock musician splitting with his wife of eleven years. According to a tabloid report, the marriage was allegedly in danger due to the fact that “Joel [felt] that Nicole was working too much”ーthis has since been refuted by Madden himself. In fact, the two were just spotted cozying up next to each other at a MDDN presents Chase Atlantic Event in Los Angeles, California, this January.
In other news, Madden and Benji recently starred in an episode of Masterchef: Celebrity Showdown earlier this month, where they had a face-to-face cook off with NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber. Who won the challenge? You’ll just have to watch it for yourself!
If you’d like to stay up-to-date with the rock musician, you can do so by following Joel Madden on Twitter at @JoelMadden.