Born December 7th. 1949, in Pomona, California. Tom Waits first album, "Closing Time", was released in 1973. A contemporary artist, Waits is mostly known for his lyrical and poetical songwriting and raspy gravelly voice.
His own inspiration is rooted in early blues and beat poetry with influences like Howlin' Wolf and Jack Kerouac. Apart from music, Waits also has a strong presence in movies. He has appeared in works by Francis Ford Coppola, the Coen Brothers, Jim Jarmusch, Terry Gilliam, and Robert Altman.
Previously worked as a dishwasher at Napoleone Pizza House in San Diego, California before being promoted to pizza chef.
Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American musician, composer, songwriter, and actor. His lyrics often focus on the underbelly of society and are delivered in his trademark deep, gravelly voice. He worked primarily in jazz, blues, country, and spoken word during the 1970s, but his music since the 1980s has reflected greater influence from rock, vaudeville, German Expressionism and experimental genres. Waits was born and raised in a middle-class family in California. Inspired by the work of Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation, he began singing on the San Diego folk music circuit as a young man. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1972, where he worked as a songwriter before signing a recording contract with Asylum Records. His first albums were the jazz-oriented Closing Time (1973) and The Heart of Saturday Night (1974), which reflected his lyrical interest in nightlife, poverty, and criminality. He repeatedly toured the United States, Europe, and Japan, and attracted greater critical recognition and commercial success with Small Change (1976), Blue Valentine (1978), and Heartattack and Vine (1980). He produced the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's film One from the Heart (1981), and subsequently made cameo appearances in several Coppola films. In 1980, Waits married Kathleen Brennan, split from his manager and record label, and moved to New York City. With Brennan's encouragement and frequent collaboration, he pursued a more experimental and eclectic musical aesthetic influenced by the work of Harry Partch and Captain Beefheart. This was reflected in a series of albums released by Island Records, including Swordfishtrombones (1983), Rain Dogs (1985), and Franks Wild Years (1987). He continued appearing in films, notably starring in Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law (1986), and also appeared in stage productions. With theatre director Robert Wilson, he produced the musicals The Black Rider (1990) and Alice (1992), first performed in Hamburg. He returned to California in the 1990s and released three albums, Bone Machine (1992), The Black Rider (1993), and Mule Variations (1999), which earned him increasing critical acclaim and multiple Grammy Awards. In the late 1990s, he switched to the record label ANTI-, which released Blood Money (2002), Alice (2002), Real Gone (2004), and Bad as Me (2011). Despite a lack of mainstream commercial success, Waits has influenced many musicians and gained an international cult following, and several biographies have been written about him. In 2015, he was ranked No. 55 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.