Kate's Notes

Friday, March 02, 2007

Joel Madden

Joel Madden

Joel Reuben Madden (born March 11, 1979) is known for being the lead vocalist for the pop-punk band Good Charlotte along with her fraternal twin brother, guitarist Benji Madden. However, he is probably better known to the American public as being the once long-time boyfriend of pop-princess Hilary Duff, and the new hot-n-heavy boyfriend (and rumored fiancée) of one of the reigning queens of the gossip magazines, Nicole Richie.

Early life

Madden was born with the name Joel Reuben Combs in Waldorf, Maryland. Coming from a musically driven family, Madden has a twin brother Benji who is in Madden’s band, Good Charlotte, an older brother named Josh, who is a DJ, and a younger sister named Sarah, who is also in a band. They grew up in a strict religious household where the only music they could listen to was religious based Christian tunes. However, Madden, along with his brother, still used to smuggle in Nirvana tapes. When Madden was 16, he and his twin brother legally changed their names from their father's surname 'Combs' to their mother's maiden name 'Madden' after his father left the family.

This left only Madden's mother to care for the four children all by herself. This caused a lot of financial problems, and eventually it lead to the family being evicted from their home. One day, when Madden and his twin brother attended a Beastie Boys concert, they ultimately decided that they wanted to start a band. Madden and his brother had never sang or played an instrument in their lives; regardless, they formed Good Charlotte in 1996, and after graduating from La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland, Madden’s mother gave him and Benji a pair of airline tickets to Los Angeles to go and check out the music scene for themselves. They returned ready and determined to make their band a success and they teamed up with three additional members, and officially formed Good Charlotte.

In 2000, the band gained some slight notoriety when their first self titled album Good Charlotte was released. However, this was followed up with their sophomore album in 2002 by The Young and the Hopeless, which got America’s attention. The Young and the Hopeless, mixes catchy power pop with orchestral flourishes and punk-rock attitude. But the melodies are all from Madden, who claims to worship his tuneful elders -- Frank Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole and Morrissey: "Between me and my brother, I've definitely got the better music taste," he has said. "Benji's a fan of street punk. I can't even tell what they're saying.'"

Their hit single, “Life Style of the Rich and the Famous,” gave them substantial radio and MTV airplay and introduced them to the mainstream CD buying public.

Their next album The Chronicles of Life and Death wasn't as successful, but they still faired well. Good Charlotte’s next album is due for release on March 27, 2007.

Other Media

Madden has several things on his plate; mostly projects that he and his brother have teamed up on. Most notably he hosts the MTV show "All Things Rock" with his brother, Benji; and they also share the production of their clothing line MADE.

Personal life

Madden is a Vegan and has a dog (a boxer) named Cashdogg (aka Cash).

Though the pages of the tabloids are usually reserved for A-list actors, or celebutante, when someone is dating an A-list actor, or celebutante, they will get their fair share of publicity as well. That is exactly what happened with Joel Madden when he began dating singer-actress and pop-princess, Hilary Duff in 2004, when he was 26, and she was only 17. The age difference garnered some scrutiny, but Duff went on record in several magazines explaining that they were not having sex, and that she was a virgin and planned on staying that way. Their relationship lasted for two and a half years until they broke up in mid-November 2006. Several sources said that the vast age difference was the principle reason for the breakup.

A regular in the Hollywood club and nightlife scene, it wasn’t long before Madden was dating again. Soon thereafter she was photographed with Nicole Richie, and they are (very non-substantially) rumored to be engaged. Though neither of their representatives have confirmed or denied this.

Madden is also friends with Adam Brody from Mr. & Mrs. Smith and “The O.C.” fame, and they frequently go hit the club scene in Los Angeles together.


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