Billie Joe Armstrong to Become Mentor on 'The Voice'
Well, we certainly didn't see this coming: Rolling Stone reports today (via AP) that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong will be a mentor on the upcoming season of NBC's hit TV music competition The Voice, helping the members of Christina Aguilera's team sing their best.
His primetime TV arrival comes just as Green Day prepares to release a trio of new albums this fall, making it a rather genius promotional move, if we may say so ourselves.
Mentors on the voice are used by the judges -- Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee Lo Green -- to give their team members extra guidance and perspective on the songs they're preparing to sing in competition. Mary J. Blige will be a mentor for Adam Levine's team this fall as well.
"The Voice" has won over viewers because "it's not molding artists, it's just giving them a little bit of guidance and direction without giving them a complete makeover," Armstrong says in a statement.
Those who think it's strange that Armstrong would be called upon as a vocal coach -- or, worse, will use this in another tired claim that Green Day has "sold out" -- would do well to remember that Armstrong cut his teeth as a singer and musician performing Broadway hits with his father in nursing homes around his East Bay hometown of Rodeo. He was such a talented vocalist at age five that his first music teachers immediately dragged him down to Fantasy Studios to record a song. (Green Day would later record Dookie, their 1994 major-label debut and commercial breakthrough, at the same studio.)
Armstrong began taping for The Voice on July 25, Rolling Stone reports. The show returns on Sept. 10 -- fifteen days before the release of Green Day's new album, Uno! on Sept. 25. We hope coaching promising singers on primetime gives Armstrong, uh, the time of his life.