Rob Thomas (musician)
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|Birth name||Robert Kelly Thomas|
February 14, 1972 |
Landstuhl, West Germany
|Origin||Florida, United States|
Robert Kelly "Rob" Thomas (born February 14, 1972) is a German-born American singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as the primary songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty. Thomas also records and performs as a solo artist with "Lonely No More" released in 2005 becoming his biggest solo chart success. Thomas earned three Grammy Awards for co-writing and singing on the Santana triple-platinum hit "Smooth", on the album Supernatural in 1999.
Since 1996, his band has released a string of hit singles to radio including "Push", "3AM", "Real World", "Back 2 Good", "Bent", "If You're Gone", "Mad Season", "Disease", "Unwell", "Bright Lights", "How Far We've Come", and "She's So Mean". In 2004, the Songwriters Hall of Fame awarded Thomas its first Hal David Starlight Award, recognizing young songwriters who have already had a lasting influence in the music industry.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Musical career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Discography
- 5 Tours
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 Television
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
He was born Robert Kelly Thomas in Landstuhl, West Germany, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, an army hospital, to his American parents on Valentine's Day, 1972. Thomas's parents moved back to the U.S. when he was six months old. They divorced when Thomas was two years old.
He and his sister were raised by his mother in Orlando, Florida, and with their grandparents in Turbeville, South Carolina. When he was 12, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He attributes the song "3AM" to this time. She later made a full recovery. He dropped out of Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Florida in the twelfth grade, at the age of 17. He has since earned his GED.
In 1993, Rob Thomas formed the band Tabitha's Secret, which eventually turned into the band Matchbox Twenty. Thomas was also featured on Santana's three-time Grammy award winning 1999 smash hit "Smooth".
...Something to Be (2004-2007)
On April 19, 2005, after ten years with Matchbox Twenty, Thomas began his solo career with the release of ...Something to Be which shot to #1 on the album chart. His first single from the album, "Lonely No More", reached number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single debuted in the top 10 of the Australian ARIA singles chart on the week of April 4, 2005. The second single, "This Is How a Heart Breaks", went gold in the USA and hit the top 50 in Australia. The third single, "Ever the Same", became a top five Adult Contemporary hit.
As a solo act, Thomas has made several significant appearances. On July 2, 2005, Thomas appeared at the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia, singing a solo set and "Higher Ground" with Stevie Wonder. He also appeared on the September 10, 2005 MTV Katrina Relief Concert. On October 5, 2005, he started his first solo tour, the Something to Be Tour. In the summer of 2006, Thomas toured with Jewel and Toby Lightman.
In September 2006, Thomas's solo effort received more exposure when ABC started using the song "Streetcorner Symphony" in promotional ads for its popular Thursday night lineup. This song was subsequently released as a single.
In January 2007, Thomas released a single entitled "Little Wonders" from the soundtrack to the Disney animated feature, Meet the Robinsons. "Little Wonders" reached #5 on the Mediabase Hot Adult Contemporary chart. Thomas was featured on the June 14, 2007 episode of the long-running PBS series Soundstage.
In 2007, Thomas and his band Matchbox Twenty released another album entitled Exile on Mainstream. The album was a two-disc set with one disc featuring the band's greatest hits to date and the second disc featuring six new songs. The album released three singles: "How Far We've Come", "All Your Reasons", and "These Hard Times".
On September 15, 2008, Thomas told Billboard.com his second solo album was tentatively called Cradle Songs. Thomas characterized the album as "the usual mish-mosh of styles, but hopefully just holding true to a bunch of good songs." The article also mentioned that the record would nonetheless feature several tracks that "take a more global, rhythmic direction after working with South American and African percussionists." Thomas explained one such experiment:
We started off with the idea of doing a newer version of (Paul Simon's) The Rhythm of the Saints, and that kinda carried us a long way through. It gave us a whole new bed to work with, like 'How do I get my pop sensibility around this and work it into that?' It was a lot of fun. But you go through different phases when you're writing; it took a different turn, and I just followed it, too.
On February 25, 2009, it was announced via Fox News that Thomas would be releasing his second solo record Cradlesong in May 2009. It was mentioned, in addition, that there were "at least four hot singles awaiting radio play, including 'Her Diamonds' and 'Someday'."
On the same day, Thomas announced on his official website that he had been "back and forth to Los Angeles quite a bit, mixing the new record." However, he denied the album would be released in May, mentioning it "looks like it won't be coming until the last week of June or the first week of July."
On March 2, 2009, Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly interviewed Thomas, where he confirmed he had since shelved his initial efforts to evoke The Rhythm of the Saints, and claimed the album was scheduled for a June 30 release. Having played half the forthcoming album to Entertainment Weekly, it was reported that many of the lyrics on Cradlesong centered around troubled relationships, and three more song titles were revealed: "Meltdown" (described as "INXS-esque power pop" that stood out as "a possible first single"), "Fire on the Mountain" (an "epic, tribal drum-driven" track inspired by Dave Eggers' book What Is the What) and "Getting Late" (suggested as the "set's likely closer" and what Thomas described as "a little ditty about death.").
Thomas has also stated via Twitter that Cradlesong had been mastered and featured fourteen tracks culled from the twenty-four songs recorded during the album sessions. All twenty-four tracks were fully mixed and mastered, leaving plenty of material left over for B-sides, iTunes, or EPs.
On June 9, 2009, Thomas released "Give Me the Meltdown" to the US iTunes Store. Similarly, "Someday" was released on June 16. On June 22, Cradlesong was made available for streaming only on the we7 website, one week ahead of its UK release date.
Thomas promoted the album with his 2009/2010 tour, Cradlesong Tour.
In March 2010, Thomas announced plans to release a four-song digital-only EP entitled the Someday EP. Featuring three new songs, the EP was released to iTunes on March 30, 2010, and all other digital retailers April 6, 2010.
In June 2010, Thomas was the guest on Daryl Hall's monthly internet concert series "Live from Daryl's House". They performed the Matchbox 20 hits "3 AM" and "Disease", as well as Thomas's solo songs "Someday" and "Ever the Same". They also performed Hall and Oates' hits, "She's Gone" and "Kiss on My List", and the Marvin Gaye classic "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". In addition to his music career, Thomas also made a guest appearance playing himself and with Sinbad on the fourth season of the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He is also a frequent guest on Real Time with Bill Maher.
The Great Unknown (2015-present)
Thomas performed several new album tracks in early 2015: "Hold On Forever", "Great Unknown", and "Heaven Help Me". Thomas released the first single from The Great Unknown, "Trust You", on May 25, 2015. The Great Unknown was released on August 21, 2015. He spent two years touring it prior. "Hold On Forever" was announced as the album's second single on September 28.
Thomas claims that he is sometimes mistaken for television writer Rob Thomas, and vice versa. A conversation between the two men on this subject led to Thomas agreeing to perform a musical number as himself on the TV show iZombie, penned by his namesake.
The Thomases are committed animal lovers and supporters of animal charities. Thomas and his wife have established the P Sidewalk Angels Foundation, a non-profit organization created to help needy people in and around America's big cities by partnering with various charities to assist people who cannot afford medical care, and animals that have been abandoned or abused.
Politically, Thomas considers himself a "fairly liberal guy". He is a strong supporter of gay rights and wrote a piece in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage on a blog at The Huffington Post in 2009. He closed the article by writing, "Each of us has a short ride on this earth and as long as we stay in our lane, and don't affect someone else's ride, we should be allowed to drive as we see fit."
- Something to Be Tour (2005–06)
- Cradlesong Tour (2009–10)
- A Special and Intimate Performance with Rob Thomas (2014)
- The Great Unknown Tour (2015)
Awards and nominations
American Music Awards
|2005||Rob Thomas||Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist||Nominated|
|2006||Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist||Nominated|
Billboard Music Awards
|2006||Rob Thomas||Top Hot Adult Contemporary Artist||Won|
|Top Hot Adult Top 40 Artist||Nominated|
|2000||"Smooth"||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||Won|
|Song of the Year||Won|
|Record of the Year||Won|
|2006||"Lonely No More"||Best Male Pop Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|"This Is How a Heart Breaks"||Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance||Nominated|
Thomas appeared in the American sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in its fourth season which he played himself as a deranged patient of a rehabilitation center. He also served as an advisor for Cee-Lo Green's team during the third season of the NBC reality competition series The Voice. He played himself in the season two finale of iZombie.
- Matchbox Twenty
- List of number-one hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart
- Dougherty, Steve (November 6, 2000). "Back to Good". People. 54 (19). Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- iTunes Originals: Rob Thomas Track 3 - "Finding My Connection to Something Special". Rob states he went back and got his GED as he was going to join the army.
- "HuffPost Music".
- "Soundstage. Rob Thomas". PBS. 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Rob Thomas Gets Worldly On New Solo Album". Ultimate Guitar. 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- "Rob Thomas, Out of the Matchbox". Fox News. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- "Rob Thomas: Talking with the artist about his new album, 'Cradle Song'". Entertainment Weekly. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "Rob Thomas reveals the cover art for his second solo album, 'Cradlesong'. AOL Music Canada". Music.aol.ca. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- "Rob Thomas: Talking with the artist about his new album, 'Cradle Song' we7 exclusive". 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
- "Rob Thomas To Release Digital EP". idiomag. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- Tailor, Leena (April 12, 2016). "Rob Thomas (Musician) Meets Rob Thomas (Screenwriter) in 'iZombie': Exclusive Video". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- "Sidewalk Angels Foundation on Twitter". Retrieved 2009-03-15.
- Thomas, Rob. "The Big Gay Chip on My Shoulder". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
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