W. Axl Rose (born William Bruce Rose, Jr. and raised as William Bruce Bailey; February 6, 1962) is the lead singer and only constant member of the original line-up of Guns N' Roses. He has appeared on all Guns N' Roses releases. Aside from being the lead vocalist of the band, he also occasionally plays the piano and, very rarely, the guitar.
Rose has performed with many notable acts, such as the Rolling Stones, Queen, and Bruce Springsteen, and many more with Guns N' Roses. He has also been the frontman of AC/DC since 2016.
William Bruce Rose Jr. was born on February 6th 1962 in Lafayette, Indiana. The first child of 16 year old Sharon E. Lintner and 20 year old William Bruce Rose. Rose Sr. abandoned his family two years later. The marriage of Sharon E. Lintner to Stephen L. Bailey resulted in Rose's name change to William Bruce Bailey. He has two younger half siblings - Amy and Stuart. Up until the age of 17, Rose believed Bailey was his biological father. Rose never got to meet his real father. It is believed William Bruce Rose was murdered in Illinois in 1984.
Rose's stepfather Bailey, was deeply religious and forced his beliefs on the household. Pentecostal church was visited three to eight times weekly and the children were sent to Sunday school. According to Rose, him and his siblings were abused mentally, physically and sexually by Bailey.
Rose was not allowed to listen to music and rarely able to watch TV. Rose claimed he remembered he was sexually abused as a baby by his biological father following regression therapy in his adult life.
Rose and his siblings became known as the 'Bailey Trio' and sang gospel songs together. They began practicing at the back of a library before performing at a church. In high school Rose sang with the school choir. He confused his teacher by reaching high vocal notes when he should have been singing second baritone. Rose studied the piano as a child.
At 16 years old, Rose was kicked out of his home for growing his hair long. Rose befriended Jeffery Isbell, who left Indiana and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980's with the dream of creating a rock n' roll band. Rose followed soon after and in 1986 he legally changed his name to W. Axl Rose with Isbell changing his to Izzy Stradlin.
From 1982 to 1985, Rose dated Gina Siler and were said to have been engaged at one point. Rose has a tattoo of Siler's face on his right upper arm.
Rose began dating and living with model Erin Everly in early 1986. The song "Sweet Child O' Mine" was written by Rose for Everly. On April 28th, 1990 the couple were married in Las Vegas with Everly claiming he "proposed" by coming over to her home at 4:00am and threatening to kill himself unless she married him that day. According to Everly, she was sexually and physically abused by Rose during their relationship. Less than a month later Rose filed for divorced but the couple reconciled. During this time, Everly fell pregnant but suffered a miscarriage in October 1990. Rose was keen to start a family and the miscarriage deeply effected him. The following day the incident that provided the inspiration for "Right Next Door to Hell" from Use Your Illusion I occured. Everly left Rose the following year resulting in the marriage annulled in January 1991. It was alleged that Rose spent the next year pursuing Everly with various romantic gestures and sending her gifts including caged birds, letters and flowers. In 1994, Everly filed a lawsuit against Rose due to domestic violence. After the lawsuit was filed, the details went public.
On reflection of his relationship to Everly, Rose stated: "I cry every time I think of how horrible we treated each other. Erin and I treated each other like shit. Sometimes we treated each other great, because the children in us were best friends. But then there were other times when we ruined each other's life completely."
In mid 1991, Rose became involved with supermodel Stephanie Seymour. During their relationship, Seymour appeared in the music videos for "Don't Cry" and "November Rain". Rose became deeply attached to Seymour's young son, Dylan, and tried to be a good father figure for the child, as there had been none in his own life. Seymour and Rose became engaged in February 1993, but separated three weeks later. Seymour claimed Axl was physically abusive during their time together. Everly was subpoenaed in a lawsuit filed against Axl by Seymour. Both lawsuits were later settled out of court.
Awards and Recognition
Rose's vocal abilities have garnered worldwide attention, leading to recognition and many awards. In 2006, he was voted No. 11 on the Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time by Hit Parader. In 2008, he ranked No. 64 in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2009 he was voted No. 4 on Roadrunner Records 50 Greatest Vocalists of All Time. In 2010, he was voted No. 1 on MusicRadar's 30 Greatest Lead Singers of All Time.