Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx founded and played bass in the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. He also has written multiple autobiographies and hosts the radio show ‘Sixx Sense.’

Who Is Nikki Sixx?

Nikki Sixx was born on December 11, 1958, in San Jose, California. After performing as a bassist in various bands in Los Angeles, Sixx formed the group Mötley Crüe with drummer Tommy Lee. Their most successful album, Dr. Feelgood, remained on the charts for 114 weeks. Sixx's autobiography, The Dirt, was a New York Times best seller. He currently hosts the radio show Sixx Sense.

Early Life

Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna Jr., later known as Nikki Sixx, was born on December 11, 1958, in San Jose, California. His father, Frank Sr., left the family shortly after, and Sixx was raised jointly by his mother, Deana, and his grandparents. Between various moves, Sixx attended seven schools within 11 years.

While living in Jerome, Idaho, he was expelled from school for selling drugs, and his grandparents sent him to live with his mother in Seattle. Sixx became interested in music, and his first instrument was a stolen guitar, which he later exchanged for a bass. At age 17, the burgeoning musician moved to Los Angeles and worked odd jobs while auditioning for bands. At this time, he changed his name to Nikki Sixx.

Commercial Success

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Sixx joined the group Sister, led by Blackie Lawless. In 1978, after being fired from Sister, Sixx and bandmate Lizzie Grey formed the band London. They recorded a number of demos, but shortly after, Sixx left to form his own heavy metal band. In 1981, Sixx founded Mötley Crüe with drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil.

In November 1981, Mötley Crüe recorded and released their debut album, Too Fast for Love, on their own record label. After signing with Elektra Records, the band re-released the album. In 1983, they recorded and released Shout at the Devil, which became a national hit. Next, they released Theatre of Pain (1985) and Girls, Girls, Girls (1987).


On December 23, 1987, Sixx was declared dead for two minutes after a heroin overdose. He was revived by paramedics and taken to the hospital, which he escaped to rush home and shoot up in his bathroom. Soon after this near-death event, Sixx and his bandmates went into rehab. Afterward, the band produced their most successful album to date, Dr. Feelgood (1989), which remained on the charts for 114 weeks.

Other Projects

In 2001, Sixx, his bandmates and writer Neil Strauss collaborated on the autobiography The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. The book was at the top of The New York Times best seller list for 10 weeks. In 2006, Mötley Crüe completed a reunion tour called "The Route of All Evil," which featured the four original members and was co-headlined by Aerosmith.

Currently, Sixx appears on a nationally syndicated radio show called Sixx Sense. His side projects include the band Sixx:A.M. and photography work.

Following multiple reunion tours, Mötley Crüe in 2014 announced they were hitting the road together one more time before legally dissolving the band. "The Final Tour" was set to run through the end of 2015.

Personal Life

From 1986 to 1987, Sixx dated singer and model Vanity. Their relationship is chronicled in Sixx's individual autobiography, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, published in 2007.

Sixx married Playboy Playmate Brandi Brandt in 1989, and they had three children: Gunner Nicholas (1991), Storm Brieann (1994) and Decker Nilsson (1995). Sixx and Brandt divorced in 1996, and one month later Sixx married actress Donna D'Errico. They have one daughter, Frankie-Jean Mary (2001). 

The couple went through a period of separations and reconciliations before finally divorcing in 2007. In March 2014, Sixx married model Courtney Bingham.

In 2018, production on a Mötley Crüe biopic, The Dirt, was set to begin. Based on a best-selling autobiography written by the band and author Neil Strauss, the film was to feature actor Douglas Booth as Sixx.

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