Brian Johnson hitting the one tonne 'Hells Bells'.
Brian Johnson hitting the one tonne 'Hells Bells'.

Famous Birthday's - Brian Johnson

05/10/1947 - Currently 71 years old.

"Live at your highest potential-moment to moment to moment... When do we feel most alive? When we're being ourselves-our highest selves.”

1947: Brian Francis Johnson was born in Dunston, Gateshead, on the south bank of the River Tyne, he is an English singer and songwriter. He is of partial Italian descent and is the oldest of four siblings. His father, Alan, was a sergeant major in the British Army's Durham Light Infantry and a coal miner, he died during AC/DC's Ballbreaker World Tour. Johnson's mother, Esther, was Italian from Frascati.

1968: Johnson married his first wife, Carol, in 1968 and they have two daughters: Joanne (born 1968), and Kala (born 1973). They divorced during the writing of The Razors Edge album. He is now married to Brenda and lives in Sarasota, Florida.

1971: Johnson was one of the founding members of the rock band Geordie formed in Newcastle. After a few hit singles, including UK Top 10 All Because of You in 1973.

1976: His first and only solo single was I Can't Forget You Now, as a member of Geordie on the Red Bus label.

1978: The band Geordie split up in 1978.

1980: Following the death of AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott on February 19 of this year, Johnson received a phone call in March inviting him to London to audition as the new vocalist for AC/DC. The band agreed immediately that Johnson's performing style fit AC/DC's music. Within days, Johnson was in the band as the third lead singer, the news being made official on April 1.

A week after that he was sent a plane ticket to the Bahamas (their management's idea, for tax purposes) where he joined the Youngs, bassist Cliff Williams, drummer Phil Rudd and Highway to Hell producer Mutt Lange in Compass Point Studios. The result was the album Back in Black, which was released in July that year. It was a worldwide success and went on to become the second best-selling album of all time.

1981: Album For Those About to Rock is released in November.

1983: Album Flick of the Switch is released in September.

1985: Album Fly on the Wall is released in June.

1986: Album Who Made Who is released in May. Johnson returned to Tyneside and appeared in the controversial music video for "You Shook Me All Night Long”, and the video received significant airplay on MTV.

1988: The album Blow Up Your Video was the last AC/DC album to feature lyrics from Johnson. Starting with The Razors Edge in 1990, guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young have written all of AC/DC's material. When asked by a fan during a radio interview why he stopped contributing lyrics, he laughed, "I ran out of words” and went on to explain that during recording he didn't always enjoy the pressure of having to come up with an album's worth of lyrics and was relieved when the Young brothers filled in during The Razors Edge. The band has since continued in that tradition for every album since.

1990: Album The Razors Edge is released in September.

Brian Johnson performing in 1991. He became the third lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC, after the death of their Second lead singer Bon Scott.
Brian Johnson performing in 1991. He became the third lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC, after the death of their Second lead singer Bon Scott.

1992: Album Live is released in October.

1995: Album Ballbreaker is released in September.

1997: Johnson recorded with the band Jackyl on their song "Locked and Loaded", and in 2002, wrote lyrics on the track "Kill the Sunshine" from their album Relentless. In the video game Call of Duty: Finest Hour, he voices Sergeant Starkey.

2000: Album Stiff Upper Lip is released in February.

2003: Brian and the rest of the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2004: Johnson travelled to Greece to film an episode of the television series Goddess Odyssey in which he researched the Helen of Troy myth. It was released on DVD in July 2005 and contains music from the theatre production. Phil Carson, former chief executive of Atlantic Records, supported the project but it was never staged.

2005: He made a cameo appearance in the film Goal! where he appears as a Newcastle United fan in a bar in California watching a Newcastle game.

2006: Johnson he took part in car racing reality television series The Race, broadcast on Sky One in the UK.

2007: Johnson and AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams took part in the Classic Rock Cares tour to raise funds for the John Entwistle Foundation, which is run by Entwistle's long-time friend and drummer Steve Luongo. They performed AC/DC songs as well as songs written by Johnson for the film Totally Baked.

2008: The Album Black Ice is released in October of this year.

2009: On July 26, Johnson appeared as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car on the BBC's Top Gear. His time of 1:45.9 tied him with Britain's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell and Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud for the second fastest time in the Chevrolet Lacetti, just 0.1 seconds behind Jay Kay. Johnson subsequently appeared in the premiere of Top Gear series 20 and was the first star to record a time in their new Vauxhall Astra test vehicle, recording a time of 1:45.1. Johnson stated it was a mistake for the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson after the Top Gear presenter punched a colleague: "I know Jeremy and I know the lads [Richard Hammond and James May] and it's [the punch] just totally out of character."

In September of this year, Johnson was diagnosed with Barrett syndrome. This caused AC/DC to cancel several shows on their 2010 tour in support of Black Ice; however, doctors were able to successfully prevent the disease from developing into cancer.

Brian Johnson leaning against the 1927 6.5 Bentley 2010 Peking to Paris car YT56 , while filming Cars the Rock.
Brian Johnson leaning against the 1927 6.5 Bentley 2010 Peking to Paris car YT56 , while filming Cars the Rock.

2011: According to The Sunday Times Rich List of British millionaires from the world of music, Johnson was worth 50 million English pounds.

2014: In July of this year he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Northumbria University in his home city Newcastle in recognition of his significant contribution to the music industry. AC/DC released their eleventh album with Johnson, Rock or Bust.

2016: In April, during the Rock or Bust World Tour, AC/DC announced the departure of Brian Johnson citing hearing issues. As the band explained it, Johnson risked total hearing loss if he continued. Johnson stated that his hearing issues hadn't come from performing for 36 years with AC/DC, but from having forgotten to put ear plugs in during a race that left him with a punctured left ear drum. Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose was recruited to complete the remaining 10 shows in North America and 12 shows in Europe. His last show with AC/DC was on February 28 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. After departing AC/DC, he recorded a new song with comedian Jim Breuer called "Mr. Rock'n'Roll”.

2017: In April, Sky Arts broadcast the first episode of Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road. Series 1 comprised six episodes, with Johnson meeting contemporaries in the music industry to talk about their musical upbringings and careers. Featured were Roger Daltrey (The Who), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Sting (The Police), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), and Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin). Johnson made a cameo appearance with rock band Muse on August 31 of this year, performing a rendition of "Back in Black” with the group.

2018: In August, rumors began circulating that Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd had rejoined AC/DC.


- When he was young, Johnson performed in various shows with the Scouts and appeared in a play which aired on television, he also joined a local church choir.

- Following Bon Scott's death, the remaining members of the band briefly considered quitting, before concluding that Scott would have wanted AC/DC to continue. Various candidates were considered for his successor, including ex-Back Street Crawler vocalist Terry Slesser and Slade's Noddy Holder, who declined, before selecting Johnson.

- A symbol of the working class in the North of England, Brian Johnson customarily wears a newsboy cap on stage and frequently off. He has occasionally worn baseball caps as well. His brother suggested that the singer wear the cap onstage to prevent sweat rolling off his thick, curly hair into his eyes while singing.

- A car and racing enthusiast, Johnson currently enjoys racing his vintage race cars: a Royale RP-4 and a Pilbeam MP84, which he races in vintage and historic races throughout the United States.

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