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Also Known As: Robert Thomas Died:
Born: February 14, 1972 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Ramstein Air Base, Landstuhl, , DE Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A gifted singer-songwriter, Rob Thomas achieved stardom as the brooding, big-voiced lead singer of Matchbox 20, whose 1996 debut Yourself or Someone Like You conquered the world, selling more than 12 million copies and scoring hits with "Push," "3 A.M." and "Real World." He became a global superstar when he wrote and sang Santana's biggest hit, "Smooth," which spent 12 weeks at No. 1, won Thomas three Grammy Awards and became one of the biggest rock hits of the modern era. Buoyed by Thomas' solo success, Matchbox 20 scored again with 2000's Mad Season, which gave them their first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, "Bent" as well as 2002's More Than You Think You Are and its major hit "Unwell." Thomas also found time to launch a successful solo career with 2005's chart-topping Something to Be and 2009's Cradlesong, scoring hits on his own with "Lonely No More," "This is How a Heart Breaks," "Her Diamonds" and "Someday." The band reunited, however for 2007's Exile on Mainstream and 2012's North and continued to delight fans with live performances. Arguably one of the most successful rock singer-songwriters of his generation, Rob Thomas seemed to have a golden touch when it came to music.Born Feb. 14, 1972...

A gifted singer-songwriter, Rob Thomas achieved stardom as the brooding, big-voiced lead singer of Matchbox 20, whose 1996 debut Yourself or Someone Like You conquered the world, selling more than 12 million copies and scoring hits with "Push," "3 A.M." and "Real World." He became a global superstar when he wrote and sang Santana's biggest hit, "Smooth," which spent 12 weeks at No. 1, won Thomas three Grammy Awards and became one of the biggest rock hits of the modern era. Buoyed by Thomas' solo success, Matchbox 20 scored again with 2000's Mad Season, which gave them their first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, "Bent" as well as 2002's More Than You Think You Are and its major hit "Unwell." Thomas also found time to launch a successful solo career with 2005's chart-topping Something to Be and 2009's Cradlesong, scoring hits on his own with "Lonely No More," "This is How a Heart Breaks," "Her Diamonds" and "Someday." The band reunited, however for 2007's Exile on Mainstream and 2012's North and continued to delight fans with live performances. Arguably one of the most successful rock singer-songwriters of his generation, Rob Thomas seemed to have a golden touch when it came to music.

Born Feb. 14, 1972 on an American military base in Landstuhl, West Germany, Robert Kelly Thomas grew up in South Carolina and Florida, where he started a band with some friends called Tabitha's Secret. Achieving regional success, the band, which featured Thomas on lead vocals, attracted major label interest. All the bandmates were unable to agree to a deal, however, and Thomas and two friends left the band, accepting the label offer to form a new group, which they called Matchbox 20. Tension would remain between the new and old band, however, and when Matchbox 20 scored a major success with the Tabitha's Secret-era song "3. A.M.," his ex-bandmates sued. Nevertheless, the band's debut album, 1996's Yourself or Someone Like You became a global blockbuster right out of the gate, selling more than 12 million copies in the U.S. alone and become an era-defining recording. Powered largely by Thomas' singing and songwriting, the album spun off such hits as the Grammy-nominated "Push," "3 A.M.," "Real World" and "Back 2 Good."

Although the band enjoyed massive success, Thomas himself would ascend even higher when he was tapped to write and sing the song "Smooth" for Carlos Santana's monstrously successful 1999 album Supernatural. Not only did it spend 12 weeks atop the Billboard charts, but it also became the biggest rock song in the history of the charts and won Thomas and Santana three Grammy Awards. With Thomas' star flashing supernova, he and his band released their second album, 2000's Mad Season, which proved a moderate but still impressive success by comparison, selling more than four million copies in the U.S. and earning a Best Rock Album Grammy award nomination. Spawning Matchbox 20's first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, "Bent," the set also sparked hits like "If You're Gone" and the title track. The band's professional momentum began to slow, however, and their next album, 2002's Grammy-nominated More Than You Think You Are only went double platinum in the U.S. The album earned one major hit, the Grammy-nominated "Unwell," although "Bright Lights" and the Mick Jagger co-penned "Disease" achieved minor hit status.

With Matchbox 20 going on hiatus, Thomas launched his solo career with 2005's Something to Be, which debuted atop the album charts, went platinum, and spun off the Top Ten hit "Lonely No More" and the moderate hit "This is How a Heart Breaks." Settling into a kind of adult contemporary stardom in his solo career, Thomas scored a hit on those charts with "Little Wonders" from the soundtrack of Disney's "Meet the Robinsons" (2007). That same year, Matchbox 20 reformed for the gold-selling greatest hits set Exile on Mainstream, which included several new tracks like the ubiquitous hit "How Far We've Come." Upon reaching this milestone, the band took another break, giving Thomas the opportunity to drop his second solo album, 2009's Cradlesong, which furthered his move towards adult contemporary superstardom. Going platinum and debuting at No. 3 on the charts, the album's major hits were "Someday" and "Her Diamonds," with the latter song proving especially personal to Thomas. He revealed in interviews that he wrote it about his wife, Marisol, and her health struggles, with the video featuring Alicia Silverstone standing in for her. As popular as Thomas had become on his own, Matchbox 20 fans rejoiced when the band reunited once more for 2012's North.

By Jonathan Riggs

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 RoboCop (2014)
4.
5.
 I Love the '70s (2003) Interviewee
6.
 I Love the '80s (2002)
8.
10.
 2001: The Year in Music (2001) Interviewee
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