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", by the Eagles, and "Downtown Train", 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. He is also included among the 2010 list of Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Singers.
Waits lives in Sonoma County, California, with his wife and musical collaborator Kathleen Brennan, and three children.
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The musician also interviewed with George Clooney on the US late-night show
- May 15, 2015
- May 13, 2015