2002's The Young and the Hopeless hit sold 4.9 million albums. marked the band's music into mainstream popularity. Their breakthrough single, titled "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", topped both pop and rock charts around the globe. Singles that were released from the album include "The Anthem", "Girls & Boys", "The Young and the Hopeless" and "Hold On". The band cited Blink-182, Sum 41, NOFX, Social Distortion and Green Day as influences for the album.
The album eventually went on to receive triple platinum certification (three million copies sold) from the RIAA. During the course of the album's success, Good Charlotte landed appearances on Saturday Night Live, CNN, and The Today Show, the covers of Rolling Stone and Alternative Press magazines, and were also featured in The New York Times. They also became popular on MTV, where their music videos were played in heavy rotation on both MTV and MTV2. "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" received the "Viewers Choice Award" at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
The band hired drummers during the recording, release and touring of The Young and the Hopeless due to former drummer Aaron Escolopio having left the band before its release. In 2003, the band added Chris Wilson as a drummer; he was introduced to the band through mutual friends from the group The Used
Also in 2003, the band made a cameo appearance in the King Gordy video for "Nightmares".
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