From his early days as Hollywood street urchin to his status as one of the biggest rock stars of the 80s, Nikki Sixx have lived a life that most could hardly fathom.
Born Frank Feranna Jr. in 1958, the disgruntled teenager took a trip to Los Angeles as a 17-year-old to do so as a rocker, working in a number of local bands and eventually legally changing his name to Nikki Sixx. The pieces began to fall into place in 1981 when he teamed up with a drummer Tommy Leeguitarist Mick Mars and songs Vince Neilforms Motley Crue.
Throughout the ’80s, Motley Crue released a wealth of multi-platinum albums and filled arenas full of fans around the world, spearheading glam-metal craze and becoming one of the biggest bands on the block. But their delirious heights were accompanied by devastating lows. Sixx was in the throes of a crippling heroin addiction, and the dec. 23, 1987, overdose of the drug and was pronounced clinical death for two minutes before paramedics revived him with two adrenaline shots. That ordeal inspired the song “Kickstart My Heart,” one of Motley Crue’s most iconic hits from their biggest album, the hit list. Dr. Feel good.
But Sixx’s problems were far from over. Motley Crue’s popularity declined in the 90s as they dealt with lineup changes and shifting musical trends. Still, the band weathered the storm and reappeared reunited and revived at the end of the decade, and while the heyday of their hit list was behind them, they continued to enjoy another act as a massive concert draw.
Sixx embarked on several other projects in the 21st century and teamed up with Thrace Guns to launch the short-lived supergroup Brides of Destruction in the early 2000s. In 2006, he launched his own group, Sixx: AMalong with singer James Michael and guitarist DJ Ashba. Their debut album, The soundtrack to The Heroin Diaries, served as a musical counterpart to Sixx’s memoirs of the same name. The lead single “Life Is Beautiful” became a hit with rock radio, and Sixx: AM released several successful albums over the next decade. Sixx also wrote two more books, the photo memoir from 2011 This will hurt and the 2021s The First 21: How I Became a Nikki Sixx. Also in 2021, the Sixx formed the supergroup LA rats with Rob Zombie,, John 5 and drummer Tommy Clufetos.
Throughout, the Motley Crue Sixxs remained constant. After completing their so-called farewell tour in 2015, de announced their return in 2019, and in 2022 they embarked on the massive, twice-delayed Stadium tour with Def Leppard,, Married and Joan Jett.
You can see photos from all of these career highlights and more in our gallery of Nikki Sixx year-by-year photos 1981-2022.
Nikki Sixx year-by-year photos 1981-2022
Over four decades of images from Motley Crue’s bassist.