Green Day had its origins in the group Sweet Children formed by childhood friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt in Rodeo, California when they were 14 years old. Drummer John Kiftmeyer was added to the group later and their name was changed to Green Day after one of their songs. The group independently released their first EP, 1,000 hours, in 1989. It was well received in punk circles. Soon after, they signed with independent label, Lookout! Records, run by Larry Livermore, and released their first album, 39 Smooth. Kiftmeyer announced that he was going to leave the group to attend college and suggested the band replace him with his former tutor, Tre Cool.
Kerplunk, Green Day's second album, was an underground success, and the group's cult following continued to grow. Next, they signed with Reprise Records. Dookie, their first release with a major label, was released in 1994. Thanks to an extended promotional tour and MTV's hyping of the single "Longview" the album became a mainstream hit. Momentum continued to build with the release of subsequent singles "Basket Case" and "When I Come Around," and more touring which included a show-stealing appearance at Woodstock '94. Dookie's sales topped 11 million internationally, and Green Day received a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance.
Green Day and Annie Lennox were the guests of honor at the 23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on May 22, 2006. ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) presented Green Day with the ASCAP Creative Voice Award, which is "bestowed upon an ASCAP member or group whose significant career achievements are equally informed by their creative spirit and by their contributions to the role that a creator can play in their community."
The band's next album, “21st Century Breakdown,” was released in May of 2009 and achieved the bands best chart performance to date. It was followed by a trilogy of albums, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, released in September, November and December 2012 respectively. Green Day's twelfth studio album, Revolution Radio, was released on October 7, 2016 and became their third to debut at number one on the Billboard 200.
Green Day has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. The group has won five Grammy Awards: Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", Best Rock Album (their second) for 21st Century Breakdown and Best Musical Show Album for American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.
In 2010, a stage adaptation of American Idiot debuted on Broadway. The musical was nominated for three Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design, losing only the first. In the same year, VH1 ranked Green Day 91st in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, their first year of eligibility.