Axl Rose is the lead vocalist and only remaining original member of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses.
Axl Rose was born William Bruce Rose, Jr. on February 6, 1960 in Lafayette, Indiana. At age 21, Rose moved to Los Angeles and joined the band Rapidfire, with whom he recorded a four-song demo in May 1983. After the group's disbandment, he joined the first line-up of L.A. Guns before forming the band AXL, which inspired his name change, with his childhood friend Izzy Stradlin. The band AXL was later renamed Hollywood Rose. In March 1985, Rose and his former band mate Tracii Guns formed Guns N' Roses by merging their respective bands, Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns. The new band debuted at The Troubadour in Hollywood and proceeded to play the L.A. club circuit, eventually building a devoted fan following. The band attracted the attention of several major record labels, before signing with Geffen Records in March 1986.
In July 1987, Guns N' Roses released its debut album Appetite for Destruction. Although the record received critical acclaim, it experienced a slow commercial start, selling only 500,000 copies in its first year of release. However, fueled by the band's relentless touring and the mainstream success of the single Sweet Child o' Mine, the album rose to the No. 1 position on the U.S. chart in August 1988, and again in February 1989. To date, Appetite for Destruction has sold over 28 million copies worldwide, 18 million of which in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. Guns N' Roses went on to release four more studio albums: G N' R Lies (1988), Use Your Illusion I and II (1991), "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993) and Chinese Democracy (2008).
Rose has been named one of the greatest singers of all time by various media outlets, including Rolling Stone and NME.