Sixx was born on December 11, 1958 in San Jose, California. He was partially raised by his single mother, Deana Richards, and by his grandparents after his father left the family. He moved in with his grandparents, while his mother toured with bands as a back-up singer. Sixx relocated several times while living with his grandparents.
While living in Jerome, Idaho, Sixx became a teenage vandal, breaking into neighbors' homes, shoplifting, and being expelled from school for selling drugs. His grandparents sent him to live with his mother, who had moved to Seattle. He lived there for a short time, and learned how to play the bass guitar having bought his first instrument with money earned from selling a prior guitar he had stolen.
At the age of 17, he struck out on his own, moving to Los Angeles and working jobs at a liquor store and selling vacuums over the phone while he auditioned for bands. He unsuccessfully auditioned for the Randy Rhoads version of Quiet Riot, as well as the band Sister, with Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. before joining London, a local glam outfit whose lineup saw numerous changes and whose major claim to fame was that its singer, Nigel Benjamin, had sung with a late version of Mott the Hoople. Sixx soon left the band.
During two years, Sixx has been in a relationship with the tatooer Kat Von D, specialist in Black and White portraits, which made him choose her to tatoo a portrait of Mick Mars in his right leg. Nikki and Kat broke up in January 2010.
In 2019, Nikki Sixx Story has been released as a Netflix original with his partners in crime, Mötley Crüe.
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