Artists & Interviewers
Joe Elliott was born on August 1, 1959 in South Yorkshire, England, and became the lead singer for the metal band Def Leppard in the late 1970s. He met the band’s other members spontaneously, after he missed his bus to school. Elliott, 19 at the time, was enrolled at the King Edward VII School. All of Def Leppard’s members were in their teens when they formed the band.
With Def Leppard, Elliott wrote songs, drawing pop and soft rock sounds from a variety of musical influences, including Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Def Leppard gained an incredible amount of fame in the early 1980s, with such songs as “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” (1981)—one of the first hard rock songs played on MTV—and 1983’s “Photograph.” By the mid-1980s, Def Leppard was a pop culture staple.
The band’s success continued into the late 1980s and ’90s. Their 1987 album Hysteria, which produced two huge songs, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Love Bites”—a No. 1 song on Billboard‘s Hot 100 list. Following their 1993 album, Retro Active, Def Leppard produced a greatest-hits project, Vault(1995).
Throughout Def Leppard’s decades-long career, the band sold more than 100 million albums. Today, Def Leppard is considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 1980s.