Billy Idol has been a bonafide heartthrob since stepping onto the London punk rock music scene in 1976. Before his career as a solo artist took off, Billy performed in a band called Chelsea. His bandmates decided to give him a now-iconic makeover and his retro look became a hit with the ladies. Though his fame led to a slew of relationships with some big Hollywood stars, Billy has never been married.
Billy released his self-titled debut album in 1982. His songs “White Wedding” and “Dancing with Myself” became staples of the MTV lineup as the “Second British Invasion” swept across the U.S. music scene. Billy released two more albums within the decade that saw commercial success. Fans became even more interested in the rocker’s personal life and bad boy reputation.
With his bleach blonde locks and his famous leather getup, Billy became a poster boy for punk rock all over the world. In an October 2019 episode of “Rolling Stone: Music Now” podcast, Billy shared how his looks contributed to his success early on in his career.
“Yeah, I could attract girls. That was the other thing. Most of the punk rock groups played to — it was all men, virtually, all men, except maybe there was five girls there, or 10,” he shared. “We played to half girls and half guys. There you go. There’s one side of it, yeah, you get a little bit slagged off, ‘Yeah, he’s only getting where’s he’s getting because he’s good-looking or something,’ I don’t know.”
Not all of the relationships that Billy was in throughout his career were with famous women. Touring the world became the new norm for Billy with the success of his eight studio albums. In a 2014 interview with CBS, Billy spoke about his female admirers and groupies he met on tour.
“It’s impossible,” he said about being faithful. “I mean, especially on a 10-month tour, on a bus, going from nowhere, from place to place to Denny’s, Carl’s Jr., Denny’s, McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Denny’s, truck stop, and you wanted something to break up the monotony. And the only way to do it was a piece of human flesh.”
Billy is now a doting father and grandfather, and has been settled down with one woman for the past few years. Scroll to find out more about Billy’s relationship history.
The “Sweet Sixteen” singer began dating dancer Perri Lister in 1980. Perri was a member of the dance group Hot Gossip beginning in the 1970s. She was also one of the original Blitz Kids, a group that became known in the London nightclub scene for launching the New Romantic movement.
In 1988, Billy and Perri welcomed a baby boy, Willem Wolf Broad. At the time, rumors were swirling that Billy had been unfaithful to Perri. He began seeing Linda Mathis in 1988. The pair welcomed their daughter, Bonnie Blue Broad, in 1989. Billy later admitted in a November 2016 interview with Louder that it was hard to resist temptation on the road and remain faithful in his relationship with Perri.
“Well, we were out on the road for a long time. The Rebel Yell tour was 10 months. You’re out in the middle of nowhere, and in those days there were no computers or cable television, particularly, so one had to entertain oneself,” he said. “And, of course, one usually used whatever there was in the audience for that. I loved Perri but I couldn’t help but have dalliances. Now I’m a lot different. I have a girlfriend who I’m very much involved with and I don’t want to be with anybody else but her.”
In an interview with Paper in 2011, The Real Housewives of New York City star Sonja Morgan revealed that she once dated Billy. Though she did not reveal what year they dated, she shared that he was also dating Perri at the time.
”I went out with Billy for a while. That was nice,” she shared. “It was scary because he was dating Perri Lister, she had red hair and was like six feet tall. He’s a vegetarian and a very nice man.”
Actress Melissa Gilbert rose to fame starring in Little House on the Prairie in 1974. She met Billy at a club in Los Angeles in the late ‘80s. She was smitten right from the first conversation.
“He impressed me as a sweet, gentle, and soft-spoken charmer,” Melissa wrote in her memoir, Prairie Tale. “He wanted to know all about Michael Landon and he asked what it was like to grow up on television. At the end of the night, we exchanged numbers and a few days later he called and asked me out.”
The pair began dating but drifted apart after attending a party at the Bel Age Hotel in Beverly Hills. Melissa said she witnessed “serious drug use and people out of control” and ended things with Billy after seeing “a glimpse of darkness.”
In 1997, Billy was linked to model Shanna Moakler. The pair both made cameos in the 1998 film The Wedding Singer. In a 2001 interview with ESPN, Shanna spoke highly of her former flame.
“He’s not too sweet and sensitive. But he’s a gentleman,” she said. “He’s got a great mind for history, loves to talk about philosophy, and he is very intelligent. He’s got a kid and is a great father.”
Billy began dating stylist Lindsay Cross in 2008. They were often photographed together out at restaurants but kept their relationship under wraps. The couple was last spotted leaving Chateau Marmont together in 2015.
In 2018, Billy was spotted out with China Chow, whose father owns the successful Mr. Chow restaurant franchise. China hosted Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist and modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. She was previously linked to Mark Wahlberg and Steve Coogan.
China has shared glimpses into their relationship on Instagram including selfies and photos with Billy’s grandchild. The couple posed for pictures together with their celebrity friends including Keanu Reeves in the past. After news broke that Billy will be joining Journey’s Freedom Tour in 2022, China began sharing clips from Billy’s rehearsals.