Generation X signed to Chrysalis Records and released three albums before breaking up. Idol moved to New York City and began working as a solo artist and began working with Steve Stevens, soon becoming MTV staples with "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself". Idol's first LP, Rebel Yell (1984, 1984 in music) was a blockbuster success and established Idol's superstar status in the United States.
Idol didn't release a new album until 1987 (see 1987 in music); Whiplash Smile sold well, but failed to live up to expectations. Stevens soon left for a solo career and Idol continued. A cover of Tommy James' "Mony Mony" did well on MTV and Idol playing Cousin Kevin in a performance of Tommy. Just before the release of Charmed Life in 1990 (see 1990 in music), Idol was in a motorcycle accident in which almost lost his leg. The album sold extremely well, but Idol decided to take a break and acted in The Doors, directed by Oliver Stone. The follow-up to Charmed Life was 1993's Cyberpunk (see 1993 in music), which was a flop, and Idol sank into drug addiction, nearly dying of an overdose in 1994.
Idol returned to the popular eye in 1998, when he played himself in The Wedding Singer, an Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore romantic comedy. Idol appeared on VH1 Storytellers and issued a Greatest Hits CD in 2001.