Christina Aguilera is bringing Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong… (Tyler Golden / NBCUniversal/AP…)
Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong, the punk rocker turned 21st century Stephen Sondheim, is joining NBC-TV’s “The Voice” as a mentor on chanteuse Christina Auguilera’s team, series officials announced Thursday.
Armstrong, the mastermind behind Green Day’s 2004 concept album “American Idiot” that subsequently became a hit on the musical theater circuit, confesses to being a fan of the show. He said he has no qualms about participating because: “It’s not molding artists, it’s just giving them a little bit of guidance and direction without giving them a complete makeover.”
Not that he couldn’t be a font of wisdom on that front: Since sprouting up as a pop-punk band in the Bay Area a couple of decades ago, Armstrong and the band have experienced quite an evolution. For starters, Armstrong could advise would-be pop stars about how to dress for air travel: “Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low. What the [heck]? No joke!” Armstrong tweeted last September.
He noted that it’s already been “a lot of fun” working with Aguilera, one of four judges on “The Voice,” along with country singer Blake Shelton, R&B artist Cee Lo Green and rocker Adam Levine of Maroon 5. The added national TV exposure won’t hurt Green Day’s volley of three new albums, “¡Uno!” “¡Dos!” and “¡Tré!” scheduled for release over five months, the first due in September.
Here’s hoping the arrival of a punk rocker into the world of singing competitions gets the “American Idol” team to broaden its horizons for the third judging slot still waiting to be filled following the recent departures of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, and the addition of Mariah Carey for one of those posts.
Pop & Hiss is holding out hope for former Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten or Steve Jones to come aboard and inject the show with some bona fide attitudinal adrenalin.
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