William Patrick "Billy" Corgan, Jr. (born March 17, 1967) is an American musician, producer, lyricist, writer, and poet, best known as the frontman and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins. Formed by Corgan and guitarist James Iha in Chicago, Illinois, in 1987, the band quickly gained steam with the addition of bassist D'arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. The band's direction has largely been driven by Corgan through his confessional lyrics, grandiose production values, and virtuosic musical interplay, notably with Chamberlin. In three years, The Smashing Pumpkins had transformed themselves into a major label success. Strong album sales and large-scale tours propelled the band's increasing fame in the 1990s, while Chamberlin's drug problems escalated until he had to be fired. The Pumpkins continued as a three-piece until Chamberlin rejoined the band in 1999, then broke up in 2000. Corgan started a new band with Chamberlin right away, called Zwan, and after their demise, he released a solo album (TheFutureEmbrace) and a collection of poetry (Blinking with Fists) before setting his sights on reforming the Smashing Pumpkins.
The new version of that band, consisting of Corgan, Chamberlin, and a revolving tour lineup, released an album in 2007 and followed it with extensive touring over the next year and a half. Chamberlin left the Smashing Pumpkins in March 2009, while Corgan has continued to record and tour with a new lineup.