W. Axl Rose (born William Bruce Rose, Jr.; raised as William Bruce Bailey; February 6, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. He is the lead vocalist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, a position he has held since its inception in 1985. Due to his powerful and wide vocal range and energetic live performances, Rose has been named one of the greatest singers of all time by various media outlets, including Rolling Stone and NME.
Born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, Rose moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, where he became active in the local hard rock scene and joined several bands, including Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns. In 1985, he co-founded Guns N' Roses, with whom he had great success and recognition in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their first album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), has sold in excess of 30 million copies worldwide,and is the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. with 18 million units sold. Its full-length follow-ups, the twin albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991), were also widely successful; they respectively debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide.
After 1994, following the conclusion of their two-and-a-half-year Use Your Illusion Tour, Rose disappeared from public life for several years, while the band disintegrated due to personal and musical differences. As its sole remaining original member, he was able to continue working under the Guns N' Roses banner because he had legally obtained the band name. In 2001, he resurfaced with a new line-up of Guns N' Roses at Rock in Rio 3, and subsequently played periodic concert tours to promote the long-delayed Chinese Democracy (2008), which undersold the music industry's commercial expectations despite positive reviews upon its release. In 2012, Rose was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N' Roses, though he declined to attend the event and requested exclusion from the HoF.