Early life, family, educational background
Entrepreneur Adrienne Armstrong (née Nesser) was born on 6 October 1969, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Both of her parents are from Lebanon, making Adrienne Lebanese and American, with dual nationality. Her father’s name is unknown, but her mother’s name is Joann Nesser. She studied Sociology at Minnesota State University, Mankato before transferring to Minneapolis Community College where she earned her degree. Adrienne told the Free Press that she graduated in 1993, but handed one paper in late, so her professor did not post her grade. She phoned the college to argue against this, so only received her degree in 1996.
Adrienne shared that she enjoyed her college experience, especially once she was in more classes that centered around her degree, but she also spent a lot of her time partying, which she thoroughly liked too.
She is the co-owner of Adeline Street, Adeline Records, and the Atomic Garden which is in Oakland, California. Adrienne is married to Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman of Green Day.
Family’s personal life
Adrienne’s older sister, Natalie Nesser works as a photographer. They have a brother named Steve Nesser who is not only a professional skateboarder, but also has his own line of skateboards.
As mentioned, Adrienne is the co-owner of Adeline Street, Adeline Records, and the eco-friendly boutique Atomic Garden, which is located in Oakland, California.
Before meeting Billie Joe and moving to California together, Adrienne had several jobs in her hometown, Mankato. Many employers did not want to hire her due to the way she dressed and wore her hair. They did not like her funky style or dreadlocks.
The first places that were happy to take her were the bowling alley and The Jungle. Although, Adrienne said that she quite liked working at those places. She also worked as a waitron at Pagliai’s during her time at college. After graduating, she worked at Pier 1 as a manager, and according to her interview with Free Press magazine, she helped build the store from the ground up and flourish it into a large success.
Her top priority in her career right now is “Atomic Garden,” which she started in November 2007 with her close friend, Jamie Kidson. Her passion for sustainable fashion began when she was 17 and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota at a recycled clothing store. In a June 2006 interview, she spoke about her time working there, ‘I would bring home bags of clothes and cut them up. I wrecked so many cool clothes trying to make stuff.’ She also said that no matter what the fashion trends were at the time, she always stuck to making and wearing her own style, whatever she found cool.
Adrienne describes her style as ‘electric,’ and has stated that both herself and her husband only wear clothing they like, ‘… regardless if they’re from a thrift store, Target, or Dior.’ Green Day’s 2000 song, “Fashion Victim,” speaks about how people are willing to spend time and money on fashion just so they can fit in with cliques instead of staying true to themselves. When Adrienne was asked about the importance of fashion in the punk community, she responded, ‘I don’t really think fashion is that important… I don’t like labels in general, they’re too confining… I just wear what I like, regardless of where I am at or what I am going to do.’
Adrienne and her husband co-founded Adeline Records in 1997 along with Jason White, Doug Sangalang, and Jim Thiebaud. The punk rock and rock record label were managed by Green Day’s manager, Pat Magnarella. However, after Pat quit as Green Day’s manager, Adeline Records was forced to close down in August 2017.
In February 2005, she began Adeline Street, an extension of Adeline Records. The business started off as a band merchandise company but evolved into a clothing line for all genders. Billie Joe helps design the clothes, so it is a collaboration of their styles. Billie Joe mainly works on the men’s line, but Adrienne sometimes offers her opinions as well. However, she usually works on the children’s, accessories, and women’s lines. Their clothing is distributed via several online stores and physical stores throughout the United States. They donate a percentage of their quarterly proceeds to charities, one of which is Punk Rock Confidential. In December 2006, the Adeline Street webstore opened a ‘Take Action’ resource which encourages shoppers to participate in environmental and social causes. The clothing line, unfortunately, closed down at the end of 2008.
In April 2007, the family volunteered for three days in New Orleans with the Habitat for Humanity.
Adrienne regularly works with the Natural Resources Defense Council and has filmed a video listing simple daily activities people can do to minimize the damage they do to the environment. The couple have started a Green Day + NRDC website which, much like Adeline Street, encourages its visitors to support and get involved in environmental events, campaigns and causes.
That November, she opened Atomic Garden with Jamie Kidson. The store is at 5453 College Avenue Oakland, California. They sell eco-friendly home goods and clothing. She has posted a blog post entitled “More Ways to Waste Time,” which details everything there is to know about the project. In a podcast episode with Vickie Howell, Adrienne discussed her environmental work and Atomic Garden. The host also nicknamed Adrienne, ‘First Lady of Green Day.’
Who is Billie Joe Armstrong?
Billie Joe Armstrong was born on 17 February 1972, in Oakland, California, to Ollie Jackson and Andrew ‘Andy’ Marciano Armstrong.
He is the youngest of six, growing-up in Rodeo, California with two older brothers, Alan and David, and three older sisters, Anna, Hollie and Marci. Their father was a truck driver for Safeway and a jazz musician, but passed away in September 1982 after losing his battle to esophageal cancer. Billie Joe was only 10 years old when he lost his father; he wrote “Wake Me up When September Ends” in memory of Andy. Ollie worked at Rod’s Hickory Pit in El Cerrito, California as a waitress. In 1987, Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe performed their first gig at the restaurant. Billie Joe’s great-great-grandparents, Teresa and Nigro, and Pietro Marsicano were Italian immigrants originally from Viggiano. They lived in Boston until 1869 before moving to Berkeley, California.
At Hillcrest Elementary school in Rodeo, his teacher encouraged him to record “Look for Love” at Bay Area label Fiat Records; he was only five years old at the time. Ollie remarried after Andrew’s passing, however, none of the children liked their new step-dad, and this disconnect brought Billie Joe closer to his music.
He met Mike Dirnt at their school cafeteria, they bonded over their mutual love of music, and have a lifelong friendship. In 1984, Billie Joe went to his first concert, performed by Van Halen. He has stated that his biggest musical influences are Hüsker Dü and The Replacements.
In 1987, Billie Joe was stil only 15 years old when he formed his band, Sweet Children. Billie Joe and Mike played guitar, Sean Hughes played bass and Raj Punjabi played drums, but was later replaced by John Kiffmeyer (professionally known as Al Sobrante). Sean left the band in 1988, so Mike took over playing bass. In April 1989, they changed their name to Green Day as a nod to their love for marijuana.
In 1994, they released “Dookie,” their third LP, which is what caused them to rise-up. They have consistently remained one of the most-loved rock bands throughout the 1990s and 2000s – selling over 60 million albums around the world.
On 21 September 2004, Green Day released their seventh studio album, “American Idiot”, which in 2009 was adapted into a musical.
The production was performed on Broadway and won two Tony Awards. In late 2010 and early 2011, Billie Joe played the role of St. Jimmy.
In April 2015, he worked together with Bill Schneider – a Green Day associate and fellow Pinhead Gunpowder member – to open a guitar shop in Oakland called Broken Guitars.
That December, he launched Oakland Coffee Works in partnership with Mike. Their coffee company sells organic coffee beans, and is reportedly the first company that began using mass-produced compostable pods and bags.
In a 1995 interview, he opened up to The Advocate about his sexuality, ‘I think I’ve always been bisexual… I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of, ‘Oh, I can’t.’ They say it’s taboo… when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.’
Adrienne met her future husband, Billie Joe on 4 July 1990 at a house party while Green Day was touring Minneapolis.
A close friend of hers – named Erica, introduced Adrienne to Billie Joe and his bandmates. Adrienne asked him for his address as she wanted to purchase a vinyl record of his band, but they were sold out of them at the time. This lead them to become friends and pen-pals. Their first kiss was Billie Joe’s inspiration for “2000 Light Years Away” from Green Day’s 1991 album, “Kerplunk.” They tried their hand at having a long-distance relationship, but the couple split. Adrienne then dated and became engaged to The Libido Boyz’s frontman, Billy Bisson, but they never married. In an attempt to win her back, Billie Joe would go to Mankato to perform, just so he could see Adrienne and spend time with her. After several shows in Mankato, Billie Joe asked if Adrienne would be willing to move to California with him and give their relationship a go. Adrienne was nervous about the move, but still felt certain that she was making the right choice, She was his muse for “Westbound Sign” off their album entitled “Insomniac.” Soon after moving in together, Billie Joe proposed and Adrienne accepted. The happy couple married on 2 July 1994 in Billie Joe’s backyard.
When speaking about their wedding, Billie Joe recalls, ‘Adrienne just got this ratty old dress and we got married in my backyard.’ Their ceremony was only five minutes long and represented multiple different traditions and religions. A day after their wedding, Adrienne found out that she was expecting their first child.
Joseph ‘Joey’ Marciano Armstrong was born on 28 February 1995. Their second son was born on 12 September 1998 and was named Jakob Danger Armstrong. Joey followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the music industry. He was the drummer of the band, SWMRS until 2020 when accusations of sexual coercion and misconduct against Joey came to light. Jakob also has a love for music like his father and older brother. He is working as a musician, singer, producer, and songwriter. He garnered fame during his time playing for the punk-rock band, Danger!. He is currently part of a band called Mt. Eddy.
Green Day’s songs “Church on Sunday” and “Redundant” are very open, and discuss issues close to Adrienne and Billie Joe’s lives, particularly while the album was in the process of being recorded. In a VH1 documentary entitled “Driven,” Adrienne explained how the making of “American Idiot,” a punk-rock musical album, ‘… took [their] relationship further than [she] would’ve liked.’
Lydia Night, lead vocalist of American punk rock band The Regrettes, accused Joey Armstrong of sexual misconduct, claiming that when they were dating – she was 16 at the time, and Joey was 22 – he would sexually coerce her and was emotionally abusive. ‘I was in a relationship with Joey that started when I was 16 and ended right before my 18th birthday.’ In an Instagram post uploaded on 20 July 2020, she shared, ‘For so long I viewed it just as being toxic and not something valid enough to share, but now I know that what I actually experienced was emotional abuse and sexual coercion by someone in a position of power over me.’
Lydia said that she wants Joey and the rest of his band to be held accountable for their views. She stated that they like to think they are the good guys, and call out toxic culture, but they engage in and encourage that same culture. She was inspired to speak out about her experience after SWMRS released a statement reacting to ‘the stories that survivors of sexual abuse in the Southern California music scene have been sharing.’ She added, ‘This band’s delusional positioning of themselves as woke feminists is not only triggering for me as a victim but is complete bullshit and needs to be called out.’ The abuse she endured during their relationship was clearly very traumatic for her, ‘I’ve spent over a year processing and reflecting on my experience to try to find the right way to go about it.’
Adrienne’s other son, Jakob, a singer-songwriter is performing under the name Jakob Danger, ‘I’m writing more songs, and I’m recording them by myself right now,’ he told Rolling Stone, ‘The ultimate goal right now is to put an album out at some point. That’s what I’m going for.’ In 2015, he released a few pop-punk songs through YouTube and SoundCloud. The popularity of his music earned him a record deal with Burger Records. In 2020, he released an album entitled, “1captainslog.’
Adrienne has brown eyes, black hair and stands at 5ft 4ins (1.63m).
Net worth and salary
As of early 2022, Adrienne’s net worth is estimated at over $1.5 Million.