By EW Staff
Updated December 05, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Good Charlotte: Clay Patrick McBride

Good Charlotte ranks among 2003’s top breakouts

Their tattoos and makeup might scare Grandma, but underneath they’re five incredibly polite guys who charmed more than 2 million teenagers into buying copies of their relentlessly catchy sophomore disc, ”The Young and the Hopeless.” Ironically, it was the celeb-mocking single ”Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” that made them famous. ”I would never say to anyone that I’m famous,” says guitarist Benji Madden. ”Everyone’s got an opinion of you, but you gotta just be who you are.” It’s this no-nonsense, blue-collar ‘tude that kept the pop-punksters sane this year, even when touring for unholy amounts of time. ”When I was growing up the oil would always run out, so we’d have no heat,” he reminisces. ”We’d lay in bed and talk about how awesome it would be to be on tour. That’s how we got through the hardest nights. I think about that all the time. It never leaves me.”