Johnny Depp is the definition of superstar status in Hollywood. Since the late-’80s, he’s maintained a consistently iconic place in pop culture starring in hit after hit movie. Throughout three decades where Hollywood royalty seems to rise and fade faster than ever before, he’s maintained a consistent position as one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. Depp’s path to success was anything but traditional, however.
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Born as John Christopher Depp II in Kentucky in 1963, he was the youngest of four children. His parents made a modest income, and his father’s job as a civil engineer forced them to move frequently in Depp’s early life. The family finally settled in Miramar, Florida in 1970 when Depp was 7. After receiving a guitar from his mother for his 12th birthday, he quickly became very passionate about music.
Depp was gifted a guitar by his mother when he was 12 years old, and began playing in various bands. He dropped out of Miramar High School aged 16 in 1979 to become a rock musician. He attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician.
In 1980, Depp began playing guitar in a band called The Kids. After modest local success in Florida, the band moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a record deal, changing their name to Six Gun Method. The Kids split up before signing a record deal in 1984, and Depp subsequently began collaborating with the band Rock City Angels. He co-wrote their song “Mary,” which appeared on their debut Geffen Records album Young Man’s Blues.