His real name is William Broad. The name Idol is based on a report card he received that said, "William is an idle student." He was going to use the name "Billy Idle," but decided an an alternate spelling of the surname so it wouldn't conflict with the Monty Python cast member Eric Idle.
Before going solo in 1981, he was leader of the Punk band Generation X.
He suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1990. That's why you see him only from the waist up in the "Cradle Of Love
He played himself in the 1998 Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer. He nearly landed a much bigger role when he was considered for the part of the T-1000 in Terminator 2.
Idol is the voice of Odin in the animated movie Heavy Metal 2000.
After a show in London in 1989, Idol was attacked by a fan who ran after him and stabbed him in the leg.
Billy is a vegetarian. He doesn't eat meat, but does wear leather.
While working on his self-titled debut solo album in Los Angeles, Billy Idol rented a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Boulevard. On March 5, 1982, he awoke at 3 a.m. to discover there was nothing to drink, so he destroeyd his room. Later that day the police arrived and a naked Idol surrendered. He later learned they were not there for him, but were investigating another Chateau Marmont resident, actor John Belushi, who had overdosed and died that same night.