No one is credited with inventing the mullet hairstyle but the Beastie Boys have been credited with popularizing the word "mullet" to describe the cut. A song titled "Mullet Head" appeared on their "Ill Communication" album in 1994.
A mullet is a hairstyle that is cut short in the front and on the sides, leaving the hair long in the back. It is often described as being a style that is "business in the front and party in the back," a phrase introduced by a character in the movie "Joe Dirt."
Although the style reached the height of its popularity in the 1980s, rock stars like David Bowie and Rod Stewart were sporting the style in the early 1970s. It wasn't until the Beastie Boys song that the word "mullet" was used to describe this particular haircut. By then, the mullet had lost its appeal and was often mocked.