Depending who you ask, Guns N' Roses vocalist Axl Rose is either considered a rock music icon who is worshipped by millions as an almost Christ-like figure, or hated as a homophobic, misogynistic, and woefully self-indulgent "rock star" (in his defense, Rose has denied that he's a homophobe or a misogynist), as well as thought of as a tyrant by his ex-bandmates. William Bruce Rose was born on February 6, 1962, in Lafayette, IN, and suffered sexual abuse from his biological father and physical abuse from his eventual stepfather at an early age (Rose changed his name to William Bailey after his mother remarried). Rose was also an outcast in school, where he was picked on for being "different," but found solace in singing with his school and church vocal choir and eventually rock music. His rough teenage years were eased a bit when he befriended a Keith Richards-worshipping chap by the name of Jeff Isbell, who shared Rose's interest in music. Isbell left Indiana for the streets of Los Angeles in the early '80s with hopes of forming a rock band, and Rose followed shortly thereafter, changing his name to W. Axl Rose (while Isbell soon adopted the name Izzy Stradlin).