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For most of the 2000s, emo was the default sound of misfits, rebels and kids who lived in Long Island. Today, many of us still enjoy their emotional lyrics and swooping bangs, but wonder what these musicians turned into after they faded into the background. Well, now's your chance to get up to date with the who's who of this prolific genre. We tracked down eleven of the most memorable emo musicians and are here to show their unbelievable transformations. For some, the change was subtle but for others, even their hardcore fans would not recognize them if they saw them on the street.

My Chemical Romance—Gerard Way

Now before you MCR stans come for me, let it be known that Gerard Way isn't one to share selfies on social media and this was one of the only photos we could find of the singer from the past several years. However, with the band's upcoming reunion tour, we believe that's soon to change.

Way is still just as adorable as he was during his Black Parade days, just without the eyeliner, dyed black hair and corpse-like complexion.

gerard way fb

Dashboard Confessional—Chris Carrabba

For over twenty years, Dashboard Confessional has released music and toured the world. And along the way, fans have watched front man Chris Carrabba grow up and mature. He's collected a number of new tattoos and even embraced facial hair. We definitely approve of the glow up.

dashboard confessional

Falling in Reverse—Ronnie Radke

It's no surprise that Falling in Reverse's front man Ronnie Radke stayed with his emo roots. Since the group debuted in 2008, Radke has continued to embrace tattoos and added a few more pieces to his face and neck. He's since ditched the soul patch (thank the heavens) and opted for naturally tousled tresses instead of the scene mullet.

falling in reverse

Panic! at the Disco—Brendon Urie

If anyone has turned their emo band into a pop powerhouse it's Panic! at the Disco. Brendon Urie formed the group in 2004 and for over a decade and a half, he's remained in the top 100 charts. These days, this front man turned Broadway actor is all about the pompadour hairstyle and even has a full sleeve of badass ink.

panic at the disco

Paramore—Hayley Williams

In the mid 2000s, Hayley Williams was the it girl of emo and informed fashion at the time with her vibrant locks and kitschy clothes. Today, Williams has ditched the neon hair and bright ensembles for a more toned down look, showcasing a more mature side of herself in 2020.


Brand New—Jesse Lacey

Brand New's Jesse Lacey was never one to embrace the theatrics and his transformation is one of the most subtle of the bunch. Today, he's gone gray in his beard and the hair on his head has thinned out a bit. But, compared to his fellow emo rock stars, he's still very recognizable.

brand new

Fall Out Boy—Pete Wentz

Despite not being the lead singer, bassist Pete Wentz is arguably the most known member of the group. Back in the day, Wentz was known for having man bangs, eyeliner and for dating Ashlee Simpson. Today, Wentz has embraced facial hair, flowing tresses and cool dad getups.

fall out boy

Jimmy Eat World—Jim Adkins

Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, Jimmy Eat World was one of the hottest rock groups around. The band was fronted by guitarist and vocalist Jim Adkins, who gained mainstream acclaim at the age of 27 and today at 44, he's still making music and has a very similar hairstyle to his early days. If you get it right, why change?

jimmy eat world

AFI—Davey Havok

Davey Havok was one of the most glamorous emo singers of all time, not only sporting eyeliner but often blue eyeshadow and false lashes. Today, he's definitely toned down his appearance but hasn't lost his love for extravaganza.


Hawthorne Heights—JT Woodruff

During the mid-2000s, Hawthorne Heights was all the rage and the group has continued to drop EPs sporadically throughout the years. The Ohio band was fronted by JT Woodruff, who today looks like the coolest dad on the planet. Despite continuing to release music, Woodruff lives a relatively normal life with his family but still has the badass ink from his rocker days.

hawthorne heights

Pierce the Veil—Vic and Mike Fuentes

Last, but certainly not least, this group was founded in 2006 by two brothers and had plenty of success for the ten years they were active. Today, the brothers have evolved their style to fit the new decade, ditching the long straight hair for more contemporary styles. However, they still hold true to their California surfer roots.

pierce the veil