Today we celebrate the birth of one of the more controversial performers of the last two decades. Fred Durst, the red-hatted frontman of Limp Bizkit, turns 39 years old today. Back in 1997, Durst’s band stormed onto the rock scene with a bristling mix of metal, hardcore, hip-hop and Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque sex funk. The group first gained attention with their extra-loud cover of George Michael’s “Faith,” but they made the crossover into superstardom with 1999’s Significant Other (which featured the hits “Nookie” and “Break Stuff”). Durst became a staple on “TRL” and — along with his friends in Korn — built a tiny nation of disaffected suburban youth.
His career has not been without controversy. In addition to being accused of inciting riots at Woodstock ’99, Durst has had public altercations with stars like Creed’s Scott Stapp and Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland, while he’s claimed in public to have had sexual relationships with Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. (There was also an unfortunate sex tape incident.)
The turn of the millennium wasn’t kind to Limp Bizkit. Despite the success of Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, the band produced a pair of albums that landed with a thud and had to deal with the departure of guitarist and muse Wes Borland. But Durst made hay getting involved in film. A longtime director of Limp Bizkit videos (as well as clips for Korn, Cold and Staind), Durst has directed two feature films: The surprisingly sensitive “The Education of Charlie Banks” and the underrated football film “The Longshots.” He’s currently touring with the reunited Limp Bizkit (once again featuring Borland on guitar) and plans on releasing a new album once the run wraps up. Here’s hoping he gets back to the business of making videos, for as “N 2 Gether Now” proves, he has a knack for it.