Billy Squier

Pop-metal singer/songwriter and guitarist Billy Squier enjoyed a string of rock radio hits in the '80s, including the top-20 pop hit "The Stroke" in 1981.

He was born May 12, 1950, in affluent Wellesley Hills, Mass. After high school, Squier moved to New York, where he formed the rock band Magic Terry and the Universe.

Squier then studied at the Berklee College of Music, intending to become a teacher. Instead, he went back to New York to play with the pop band the Sidewinders. Squier soon joined the rock group Piper and was featured on their two LPs before he began a solo career.

His solo debut, The Tale of the Tape (1980) barely charted, but Don't Say No (1981) featured the popular song "The Stroke" and reached the top five of the Billboard 200 albums chart. Other hits on the triple-platinum LP were "My Kinda Lover" and "In the Dark."

Squier scored again with "Everybody Wants You" from the double platinum Emotions in Motion (1982) and became an MTV favorite. Two years later, Squier reached the pop top 20 again with "Rock Me Tonite," from Signs of Life.

His succeeding LPs fared much more poorly. In 1998, he issued the acoustic Happy Blue, his first LP since Tell the Truth (1993). The former LP featured such tracks as "Grasping for Oblivion" and "The Pursuit of Happiness."

Squier also has tried his hand at screenwriting.

Other birthdays Friday: Jayotis Washington (Persuasions), 59; Ian McLagan (Small Faces), 55; Steve Winwood, 52; Barry Borden (Molly Hatchett), 46; Billy Duffy (ex-Cult), 41; and Ian Dury, 1942–2000.