Here’s wishing a very happy 75th birthday to longtime AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, who was born October 5, 1947.
The gravel-voiced vocalist, who hails from Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., served as the lead singer of the Newcastle-based glam-rock outfit Geordie throughout most of the 1970s before AC/DC hired him to replace Bon Scott, who died in February 1980 at age 33 from “acute alcohol poisoning.”
AC/DC were already a hugely popular band, but Johnson’s first album with the Australian rockers, 1980’s Back in Black, made them superstars. Brian co-wrote the album’s songs with guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, including such classics as the title track, “Hells Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
Back in Black peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 and went on to sell over 25 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling hard-rock record ever in the States.
Johnson continued to co-write AC/DC’s songs with the Young brothers through 1988’s Blow Up Your Video album.
Brian’s long tenure as AC/DC’s frontman was sidetracked in 2016 during the band’s Rock or Bust tour, when he had to stop performing live immediately because of hearing issues. Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose was brought on to finish the trek.
Johnson rejoined AC/DC in 2020 for the recording of the band’s latest album, the chart-topping Power Up.
His most recent performance took place on September 3 during the star-studded London tribute concert for late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Brian performed two AC/DC songs, “Back in Black” and “Let There Be Rock,” while backed by Foo Fighters and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.
Johnson will release a new memoir titled The Lives of Brian on October 25.
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