Tom Waits Biography

Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and has acted in supporting roles in films, including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker's Dracula; he also starred in the 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Waits' lyrics frequently present atmospheric portraits of grotesque, often seedy characters and places--although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: "Jersey Girl", performed by Bruce Springsteen, "Ol' '55", performed by the Eagles, and "Downtown Train", performed by Rod Stewart. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Waits lives in Sonoma County, California, with his wife and musical collaborator Kathleen Brennan, and three children.

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Tom Waits Tickets

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Tom Waits News

Tom Waits signs to booking agency for the first time in 20 years

Waits played his first gig in five years in October 2013 as part of Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit

  • Apr 2, 2014

Tom Waits plays first gig in five years – watch

He played a 10 song set as part of Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert in California

  • Oct 28, 2013

Tom Waits to give rare live performance at Bridge School Benefit gig

The legendary singer hasn't performed a live show since 2008

  • Sep 22, 2013

Tom Waits and Anton Corbijn to release photo book

Book will feature over 200 pages of images taken by both Corbijn and Waits himself

  • Jan 15, 2013

Tom Waits collaborates with Keith Richards on 'Shenandoah' - listen

Vintage duo team up for Johnny Depp's pirate-themed album

  • Jan 9, 2013

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Tom Waits Music Videos

Trampled Rose Play Video

Trampled Rose

Watch the official Trampled Rose video by Tom Waits in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Lie To Me Play Video

Lie To Me

Watch the official Lie To Me video by Tom Waits in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Bottom Of The World Play Video

Bottom Of The World

Watch the official Bottom Of The World video by Tom Waits in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

The Day After Tomorrow Play Video

The Day After Tomorrow

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God's Away On Business Play Video

God's Away On Business

Watch the official God's Away On Business video by Tom Waits in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

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Tom Waits Reviews

Album Reviews: Tom Waits - 'Bad As Me'

Album Reviews: Tom Waits - 'Bad As Me'

It's not up there with the best

  • Oct 28, 2011

Waits, Tom : Blood Money

...a cacophonous, fearsome and shadowy delight...

  • May 14, 2002

Waits, Tom : Alice

...mugging it up like Oscar from 'Sesame Street'...

  • May 14, 2002

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