The Twin Brothers Madden Growing Up:
Joel and Benji Madden were born in Maryland on March 11, 1979. They were born with the last name Combs, but their father left the family when the twins were 15. Eventually Joel and Benji chose to use their mother's maiden name Madden. Although neither had any musical experience, the brothers decided to start a band after seeing the Beastie Boys in concert at age 16.
Forming Good Charlotte:
The Maddens recruited high school friends Aaron Escolopio and Paul Thomas to put together the band Good Charlotte. A short time later guitarist Billy Martin was added to the band. They began playing local clubs and eventually caught the attention of the post-grunge band Lit. Good Charlotte were invited to join Lit on a 1999 east coast tour.
Good Charlotte Band Members:
- Joel Madden - Vocals
- Benji Madden - Guitar
- Billy Martin - Guitar and Keyboards
- Paul Thomas - Bass
- Dean Butterworth - Drums
The Young and the Hopeless:
Good Charlotte released their first, self-titled album in 2000 and it made a small impact on the charts. The second album The Young and the Hopeless came out in 2002 with the Madden brothers gaining publicity by hosting the MTV countdown All Things Rock as VJ's. The album included the band's breakthrough single "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" which reached the top 20 on the US pop singles chart and the top 10 in the UK.
Top Hit Singles by Good Charlotte:
- 2002 - Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous - #20 Pop, #11 Modern Rock, #8 UK
- 2003 - The Anthem - #43 Pop, #10 Modern Rock, #10 UK
- 2004 - Predictable - #28 Modern Rock, #12 UK
- 2005 - I Just Wanna Live - #51 Pop, #9 UK
Chronicles of Life and Death:
Riding a wave of popularity, Good Charlotte released their third album Chronicles of Life and Death in 2004. It reached #3 on the pop albums chart, but it received a mixed reception from critics and fans. The band added new sounds such as strings and synths as well as more mature lyrics. Some critics praised the group, but commercial response was muted. The album sold only 1 million copies after The Young and the Hopeless had sold 3 million.
Personal Life of the Maddens:
Joel Madden made gossip headlines outside of Good Charlotte with his 2 1/2 year relationship with singer Hilary Duff. The pair split in November, 2006. Some speculated that part of the reason was the age difference between the two. Hilary was 19 at the time of the breakup and Joel was 27. Benji Madden was engaged to Australian pop singer and actress Sophie Monk on December 24, 2006.
Outside Work by the Maddens:
Both of the Madden brothers have worked with a variety of performers outside of Good Charlotte. Joel Madden has worked with Hilary Duff on a number of her recordings, and Benji Madden has worked with the bands Mest and Goldfinger among others. The brothers own their own label DC Flag Records, and they own the clothing brand DCMA Collective along with their brother Josh Madden.
Good Morning Revival:
In late 2006 Good Charlotte announced that their 4th album Good Morning Revival would be released in 2007. The in-store date was set at March 27, 2007 after multiple delays. The first single from the album is "The River."