Today’s singer is both a British and US citizen and first achieved fame in the 1970s emerging from the London punk rock scene as the lead singer of the group Generation X. He was born William Michael Albert Broad of Irish descent on his mother's side. In 1958, when he was two years old, he moved with his parents to Patchogue, New York.
The family returned to England four years later. He attended University to pursue an English degree but left after year one. He then went on to join the Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans, a loose gang that traveled into town when that band played.
He eventually joined the newly formed West London 1960s retro-rock band Chelsea as a guitarist. Band members advised him to change his style and image from his short sighted eye-glasses for contact lenses, and dye his hair blonde with a crew cut for a retro-1950s rocker look.
The inspiration for today’s song from 1982, his first hit as a solo artist, occurred during a tour of Japan when he was by the sight of the young crowd in a Tokyo discotheque dancing with their own reflections in walled mirrors rather than with one another.
The video for today’s song was directed by Tobe Hooper who had gained fame for directing the horror classic, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, which so impressed today’s singer that he tapped Hooper to direct the video for today’s breakthrough single.
Today’s singer has never married but had a long-term relationship with English singer, dancer and former Hot Gossip member Perri Lister. They have a son, Willem who has been a member of the rock band FIM.
Lister and today’s rock icon separated in 1989, and he also has a daughter, Bonnie Blue, from another relationship.
In 2018, he became a US citizen during a ceremony in Los Angeles while retaining his British citizenship, and just last year, his daughter Bonnie gave birth to his first grandchild, a daughter named Poppy Rebel.