With the release of American Idiot in 2004, Green Day cemented their transition from snotty California punks to adults with an agenda. But instead of just singing about suburban wastelands and highways full of gas-guzzlers, they joined forces with the National Resources Defense Council, encouraging fans to demand clean energy and green jobs through action in Congress. "We grew up in a huge refinery town," frontman Billie Joe Armstrong explained in a public service announcement. "I learned that a young age just by the mere smell of it what the oil industry does to the air that I was breathing in as a kid," he said. For bassist Mike Dirnt it was simple: "You don't have to be an environmentalist to have an appreciation for clean water."
Photo: Greenday performs in San Antonio, Texas, August 9, 2009.