Billie Joe Armstrong was born in Oakland, California, and was raised in Rodeo, California, as the youngest of six children to Andrew "Andy" Armstrong and Ollie Jackson. His father worked as a jazz musician and truck driver for Safeway Inc. to support his family. He died of esophageal cancer on September 10, 1981, when his son Billie was ten years old. The song "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is a memorial to his father. He has five older siblings: David, Alan, Marci, Hollie, and Anna. His mother worked at Rod's Hickory Pit. Armstrong and Mike Dirnt got their first gig at Rod's Hickory Pit during their early years. Armstrong's interest in music started at a young age. He attended Hillcrest Elementary School in Rodeo, where a teacher encouraged him to record a song titled "Look For Love" at the age of five on the Bay Area label "Fiat Records". After his father died, his mother married a man whom her children disliked, which made Armstrong retreat further into music. Armstrong dedicated a song to him called "Why Do You Want Him". At age 12 while attending Carquinez Middle School in nearby Crockett, California, he met Mike Dirnt, and they immediately bonded over their love of music. He became interested in punk rock after hearing the Sex Pistols song "Holidays in the Sun". Armstrong has also cited Minneapolis-based bands The Replacements and Hüsker Dü as major musical influences. Armstrong attended John Swett High School, also in Crockett, and later Pinole Valley High School, in Pinole, California, but then dropped out to pursue his musical career. About his CareerIn 1987, Armstrong formed a band called Sweet Children with childhood friend Mike Dirnt at the age of 15. In the beginning, Dirnt and Armstrong were both on guitar, with John Kiffmeyer, also known as Al Sobrante, on drums, and Sean Hughes on bass. After a few gigs and a demo recording (later featured at the end of Green Day's Kerplunk!) Hughes left the band in 1988. At the same time Dirnt switched to bass and they became a 3-piece band. They changed their name to Green Day in April 1989, allegedly choosing the name for their fondness of marijuana.They also got the name from their teacher saying to them,"it'll be a green day in hell before you make something good out of yourself" in high school. That same year they recorded the EPs 39/Smooth, 1,000 Hours, and Slappy, later combined into the LP1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, on Lookout! Records. Tré Cool eventually replaced Sobrante in late 1990 when he left Green Day in order to go to college. California Punk band Rancid's lead singer Tim Armstrong asked Billie Joe to join Rancid, but he refused due to the progress with Green Day. Tré Cool made his debut on Green Day's second album, Kerplunk!. With their next album, Dookie (1994), the band broke through into the mainstream, and have remained one of the most popular rock bands of the 1990s and 2000s with over 60 million records sold worldwide. Apart from working with Green Day and side-band Pinhead Gunpowder, Armstrong has proved himself busy in the music world, collaborating with many artists over the years. He has co-written for The Go-Go's ("Unforgiven") and former Avengers singer Penelope Houston ("The Angel and The Jerk" and "New Day"), co-written a song with Rancid ("Radio"), and sung backing vocals with Melissa Auf der Maur on Ryan Adams' "Do Miss America" (where they acted as the backing band for Iggy Pop on his Skull Ring album ("Private Hell" and "Supermarket"). Armstrong has produced an album for The Riverdales, and has also been confirmed to be part of a side project called The Network. The Network released an album called Money Money 2020. Many Green Day fans who listened to the record remarked the similarity between the two bands. Money Money 2020 was released on Adeline Records, a record label co-owned by Armstrong. He also worked with the band U2 with The Saints Are Coming.