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Good Charlotte is an American pop punk band from Waldorf, Maryland that formed in 1996. Since 1998, the band's constant members have been lead vocalist Joel Madden, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Benji Madden, bassist Paul Thomas, lead guitarist and keyboardist Billy Martin, while drummer Dean Butterworth has been a member of the band since 2005. After a 4-year-long hiatus, the band announced its comeback on November 3, 2015. The band has released six studio albums: Good Charlotte (2000), The Young and the Hopeless (2002), The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004), Good Morning Revival (2007), Cardiology (2010) and Youth Authority (2016), as well as two compilations: Greatest Remixes (2008) and Greatest Hits (2010).
Early years (1996–98)
Each original member of the band attended La Plata High School in Maryland. The band made a name for itself in nearby Washington, D.C., playing the WHFS annual rock show HFStival in 1998 and 1999. The band mainly played out small bars which soon earned the group attention.
Good Charlotte (1999–2001)
Good Charlotte's debut studio album Good Charlotte was released in 2000 and was the start of the band's music career. The album contains three singles: "Little Things", "Motivation Proclamation", and "Festival Song". Aaron Escolopio was the band's drummer for this album, but left the band before The Young and the Hopeless to join his brother's band Wakefield, and was replaced by Nate Foutz (drummer of the band Vroom).
The Young and the Hopeless (2002–03)
2002's The Young and the Hopeless sold 4.9 million copies and thrust the band into mainstream popularity. The band's breakthrough single, titled "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", topped both pop and rock charts around the globe. Singles that were released from the album include "The Anthem", "Girls & Boys", "The Young and the Hopeless", and "Hold On". The band cited Rancid, Social Distortion, and The Clash as influences for the album.
The album eventually went on to receive triple platinum certification (three million copies sold) from the RIAA. During the course of the album's success, Good Charlotte landed appearances on American Idol, CNN, and The Today Show, the covers of Rolling Stone and Alternative Press magazines, and were also featured in The New York Times. The band also became popular on MTV, where the band's music videos were played in heavy rotation on both MTV and MTV2. "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" received the "Viewers Choice Award" at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
After a few months of touring, Nate Foutz (Vroom Drummer) returned to join his band for the band's summer tour. The band hired drummers during the recording, release and touring of The Young and the Hopeless due to former drummer Aaron Escolopio having left the band before its release. In 2003, the band added Chris Wilson as a drummer; he was introduced to the band through mutual friends from the group The Used.
The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004–07)
Good Charlotte's third album, The Chronicles of Life and Death, was released by Epic Records in 2004. The album received mixed reactions from both the music press and Good Charlotte's fan base. The album sold 2.2 million copies. The album has been widely considered a departure from the band's previous two albums, mixing new elements such as lyrical topics into Good Charlotte's youthful sound. Singles released from the album include the two hits "Predictable" and "I Just Wanna Live", as well as "The Chronicles of Life and Death" and "We Believe". The only single from The Chronicles of Life and Death which managed to chart on the U.S. Hot 100 was the hit "I Just Wanna Live". All of the singles released from the album went top 30 in the UK, except for "We Believe". The band would then go on tour with Sum 41.
In May 2005, after much speculation from fans, it was officially confirmed that Chris Wilson had left the band citing personal health reasons. Benji also told Kerrang! magazine that, for him, "Chris leaving the band was the worst part of 2005." Chris then joined the pop/punk band The Summer Obsession until 2011. He currently plays drums for JMSN.
On Good Charlotte's "Noise to the World" Tour, performing with Simple Plan and Relient K, the band recruited Dean Butterworth (who had previously played for Morrissey) as the band's temporary drummer. Later, in March 2007, Butterworth was confirmed as the band's permanent drummer.
Benji Madden has claimed in interviews that he feels this record was not as successful as the previous record due to it being "too selfish."
Good Morning Revival (2007–08)
Good Morning Revival is the fourth album by Good Charlotte and the follow-up to 2004's The Chronicles of Life and Death. It was officially released in March 2007, with the precise date varying by country.Good Morning Revival debuted in the top 10 of thirteen countries worldwide including the U.S., giving the band some of its highest international chart positions thus far, and went on to sell 4.5 million copies. At midnight, on January 23, 2007, the record was made available for pre-order on iTunes. When pre-ordered, the single "The River" could be downloaded immediately, while the rest of the album was queued to be downloaded on the release date. Pre-ordering on iTunes also provided the exclusive bonus acoustic version of the song. This album was suggested a different sound for the group apart from the group's pop punk roots.
The first single from the album, "The River", featuring Avenged Sevenfold's lead singer M. Shadows and guitarist Synyster Gates, appeared online on January 4, 2007, and was released as the first single from the album in North America. The music video for "The River" was added to UK music channels Kerrang! and Scuzz on April 13, 2007, making it the second single released from the album in the UK. The song charted at No. 108. "Keep Your Hands off My Girl" was released as the first single in the UK and Australia. "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" charted on the UK Singles Chart at No. 36 the first week of release through download sales and then climbed to No. 23 when released in stores. The second single released in North America was "Dance Floor Anthem", with which the band had scored a surprise hit, making it onto 11 different Billboard charts and peaking at No. 2 in Australia. The "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" video was certified gold by MTV International in December 2007. It was played 3,000 times on over 4 continents during the first half of 2007. On January 1, 2008, Good Charlotte was featured on Tila Tequila's New Year's Eve Masquerade on MTV, as the band was the second performance of the new year and performed its hit "Dance Floor Anthem".
The band made multiple U.S. and international TV appearances in support of the album. First, Good Charlotte appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 9, 2007, the Outdoor Stage on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 11, and on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on April 27. Joel and Benji Madden, Good Charlotte's lead singer and guitarist respectively, co-hosted the Australian MTV Video Music Awards with Fergie on April 29, 2007 where the band also won the "Viewers Choice Australia" award for "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl". In August 2007, the band embarked on Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveShow tour, as Timberlake's opening act. Good Charlotte supported Timberlake throughout his second leg North American dates. The band was present for the August 16, 2007 show in Madison Square Garden, which was taped for a HBO broadcast.
On November 25, 2008, Greatest Remixes was released. This compilation album includes 15 songs from previous Good Charlotte albums remixed by other artists such as Metro Station, Junior Sanchez, William Beckett from The Academy Is..., Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy, and The White Tie Affair featuring Mat Devine of Kill Hannah.
Cardiology and hiatus (2009–11)
Good Charlotte's fifth album, with the help of former Dear Christie lead singer Adam Markin, was released on November 2, 2010. The album, which was released nearly 6 weeks later than anticipated due to Markin's constant battle with HPV, was an immediate success. Describing the sound to MTV news, Joel Madden said it would sound a lot like Blink-182. Joel Madden went on to say in the same MTV interview that "There's nothing dance-y on the record, though, at all, which is different from our last one," further implying a movement away from the sound of Good Morning Revival. On December 3, 2008 Kerrang! magazine announced that Good Charlotte would be releasing its fifth studio album, Cardiology in 2009. The title of which, according to Joel, comes from the lyrical content of the album, which he explained is "all connected to the heart". Madden also added that the band had already written 20 songs for the new album, and are said to be heading back to their pop-punk roots. On January 24, 2010 Good Charlotte announced that the band had finished the album, but were going to completely scrap it and record with a different producer, Don Gilmore, who also produced the band's first and fourth records, Good Charlotte and Good Morning Revival.
The band released its first single "Like It's Her Birthday" featuring Tonight Alive from the new album on August 24, 2010. The band posted the song online August 5, 2010, and wrote on its website that if the video of the song received more than 100,000 views, the band would post another song from the album. The video reached 100,000 views on August 15, 2010 and the band released "Counting the Days" as a video on its YouTube channel and announced that it will be the second single from the album. The music video for "Like It's Her Birthday" has cameos from The Maine's lead singer John O'Callaghan and guitarist Kennedy Brock and Boys Like Girls' lead singer Martin Johnson, and guitarist Paul DiGiovanni.
On November 5, 2010, Good Charlotte's former label, Sony Music, released a Greatest Hits compilation for Australia, spanning 16 singles from the band's four studio albums released on that label. The compilation was later released in the US on January 6, 2011, and in Japan on February 16, 2011.
On September 13, 2010, it was announced that Good Charlotte will be headlining the 2011 Kerrang! Relentless Tour, with supporting acts Four Year Strong, Framing Hanley, and The Wonder Years. On March 3, 2011, Good Charlotte went on tour with This Century and Forever The Sickest Kids throughout North America. In June 2011 Good Charlotte set out on a U.S. tour co-headlining with Yellowcard and opening act Runner Runner. In June 2011 on an interview with Punkvideosrock.com Billy and Paul stated they were in the process of planning tours for the next 5 years.
On September 1, 2011, Good Charlotte announced a hiatus via interview with Rolling Stone, but The Madden Brothers released a free mix tape in October 2011 titled Before — Volume One. and their debut album Greetings From California was released in September 2014, which featured Good Charlotte drummer Dean Butterworth as session performer.
Reformation and Youth Authority (2015–present)
On November 3, 2015 the band announced an end to the hiatus through Alternative Press. On November 5, 2015, the band released a single, "Makeshift Love". A music video for "Makeshift Love" featuring Mikey Way and John Feldmann was released on November 13, 2015. The band performed its first show since its reformation on November 19, 2015, at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. The band is due to support All Time Low on the UK and Ireland leg of the Back to the Future Hearts tour in 2016.
The group released their sixth studio album, Youth Authority, on July 15, 2016, with guest appearances from Kellin Quinn of Sleeping with Sirens and Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro. The album release date was announced on March 30, 2016, with the album title and art following several days later.
Billy Martin is an active vegetarian, and won PETA's vegetarian of the year. In the past the band actively supported PETA's animal rights campaigns. Members of the group recorded a track, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", on PETA's Liberation CD and appeared at PETA's 25th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards Show. Group members have also demonstrated against KFC's treatment of chickens.
In 2012 and 2013, band members heavily promoted Kentucky Fried Chicken in a series of Australian television commercials, leading to charges of hypocrisy. The Madden Brothers appeared in an episode of Australia's Got Talent where their act was eating KFC to set a Guinness World Record.