Happy Birthday, Gerard Way: Wake-Up Video

His band may have fallen just short of winning MTV's Musical March Madness, but My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way still has plenty to celebrate. His band is putting out one of the more hotly-anticipated rock albums of 2010, he is working on a new comic book called "The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys," his daughter is about to turn one year old and Way himself celebrates his birthday today (he'll be blowing out 33 candles on his ice cream cake).

Way's path to fame has not been easy. He has endured alcoholism and a dependence on prescription drugs (though he's been sober since 2004), but he channeled that pain into My Chemical Romance's three albums. The first, 2002's I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, was a brutal slab of post-hardcore garage punk, but the band really found their groove on their sophomore effort. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge is a near-perfect distillation of the rock movement in the middle of the decade, channeling equal parts punk nihilism, hardcore rage, metal efficiency, goth spookiness and arena rock posturing into songs that feel appropriate both in the middle of a pyro-assisted arena show and played alone in your teenage bedroom (which is probably why it sold over a million copies and made the group a household name).

One thing that keeps the band unique is Way's visual sense. An artist himself, the group's music videos are distinctive and always surprising (the umbrella dance in the middle of the "Helena" clip is particularly memorable). But their crowning achievement remains "Welcome to the Black Parade," the first single from their 2006 album The Black Parade.