Joel Reuben Madden (born March 11, 1979 in Waldorf, Maryland, USA) is the lead vocalist for the band Good Charlotte and identical twin brother of guitarist Benji Madden. Joel's father left on Christmas Eve when Joel was 16 years old, which increased financial problems for the family. Joel and Benji had to take numerous odd jobs to help with the family finances.
Although Joel and Benji had no musical experience, the two decided to start a band after attending a Beastie Boys concert at the age of 16. Their first band was called "The Benji, Joel, and Brian Band,' which they started with a friend. The band was short lived. Eventually, Joel and Benji recruited their high school friends Aaron Escolopio and Paul Thomas, and they formed Good Charlotte.
Joel attended La Plata High School in La Plata, Maryland. Joel cites the torment from his peers as inspiration for much of Good Charlotte's lyrics on their self-titled debut album, as well as on their second album, The Young and the Hopeless, especially the song "The Anthem."
Joel and his brother Benji write all of Good Charlotte's music.
In June 2005 rumors about Joel were finally cleared up when actress/pop vocalist Hilary Duff finally admitted the two were dating, and had been seeing each other since Hilary was only 16 and he was 25. Their first North American public appearance together was at the MTV Video Music Awards in August of 2005, a few weeks before Duff's 18th birthday. He also appeared at Duff's Most Wanted Concert in 2004.