Brian Johnson (born 5 October 1947) is an English singer and lyricist who has been the lead singer for the rock band AC/DC since 1980. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 along with the other members of the band.
In 1972, Brian Johnson became one of the founding members of the glam rock band Geordie. After a few hit singles, including UK Top 10 "All Because of You" (1973), the band split up in 1978 then to be reformed by Johnson in 1980. But after signing a new record deal, Johnson was asked to audition for AC/DC, whose charismatic frontman, Bon Scott, had died on February 19, 1980. A fan in Chicago sent a tape of Johnson performing with Geordie to the band's manager Peter Mensch. Mensch recommended him to the band. AC/DC lead guitarist and co-founder Angus Young later recalled, "I remember Bon playing me Little Richard, and then telling me the story of when he saw Brian singing." He says about that night, "There's this guy up there screaming at the top of his lungs and then the next thing you know he hits the deck. He's on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I thought it was great, and then to top it off—you couldn't get a better encore—they came in and wheeled the guy off!'" Later that night, Johnson would be diagnosed with appendicitis, which was the cause of his writhing around on stage. The band agreed immediately that Johnson's performing style fitted AC/DC music. Johnson's first album with AC/DC, Back in Black, became the second best selling album of all time, and the best selling album by any band.
Brian Johnson was born in Dunston, Gateshead, England. He is of English and Italian descent and is the eldest of four siblings, including his brother Maurice and sister Julie. His brother Maurice works for AC/DC as the cook. Johnson's father, Alan, was a Sergeant Major of the British Army's Durham Light Infantry and a coal miner; he died during the Ball Breaker tour. His mother, Ester De Luca, was an Italian from Frascati. When he was young, Johnson performed in various shows with the Scouts, and appeared in a play which aired on television, and joined a local church choir.