Thom Yorke (born 7.10.1968)
Thom Yorke is the lead singer of Radiohead, an alternative rock band from Oxford, England. He has also released his own solo music.
Thom Yorke: Childhood
Thom Yorke was born in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He was born with his left eye shut and underwent numerous operations as a child, which eventually left him with a drooping eyelid.
The Yorke family moved often, due to his father's work. At the many schools that he attended, Yorke was often teased because of his eye condition. Eventually, the family settled in Oxfordshire.
At the age of seven, Yorke was given his first guitar. He was a fan of Brian May, the guitarist of Queen. By 11, Yorke had formed his first band and started writing songs.
It was at Abingdon school that Thom Yorke met Phil Selway, Ed O'Brien, Colin Greenwood and Jonny Greenwood, with whom he would form Radiohead.
Originally, the band was called On A Friday. In 1988, the band took a break when Yorke attended university in Exeter, where he would DJ and briefly joined a band called The Headless Chickens.
Thom Yorke: Music Career
In 1991, On A Friday's music activity was resumed and the band moved to Oxford. They were shortly signed to Parlophone and changed their name to Radiohead. When their single 'Creep' was released, it became a worldwide hit, followed up by their debut album Pablo Honey.
Following the release of their second album, The Bends, R.E.M. selected Radiohead to open for them on their European tour. Thom Yorke became particularly good friends with Michael Stipe.
Following the release of OK Computer, their third album, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood collaborated on the soundtrack to Velvet Goldmine (which starred Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale and Eddie Izzard), under the pseudonym Venus In Furs. Suede's Bernard Butler was also in the band, who performed covers of Roxy Music songs.
Radiohead's music has become increasingly experimental, with the release of their next three albums, Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief.
Their seventh album, In Rainbows hit headlines for the unique way in which it was released. The album was made available as a digital download, with an online pay button which allowed the purchaser to pay as much or as little as they like for the album.
Thom Yorke's debut solo album, The Eraser, was released in 2006. Radiohead's producer Nigel Godrich was on board as producer for the album, and the cover's artwork was done by Stanley Donwood. The album was released by XL Recordings and was shortlisted for that year's Mercury Music Prize, as well as receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album.
Although Thom Yorke rarely performs solo, he did open the main stage on the Sunday at 2009's Latitude Festival. The performance received a mixed response.
Thom Yorke has often collaborated with other musicians. In 2000, he appeared a number of times on PJ Harvey's Stories From the City, Stories From The Sea. The album won that year's Mercury Music Prize.
Yorke has twice recorded with Bjork - once on 'I've Seen It All' and again on 'Nattura'.
In 1998, Thom Yorke collaborated with DJ Shadow on 'Rabbit in Your Headlights' and in 2007, he sang on 'The White Flash' by Modeselektor.
Thom Yorke: Personal Life
Thom Yorke is in a long-standing relationship with Rachel Owen, whom he met whilst at Exeter University (Owen studied fine art and printmaking). Yorke and Owen have two children together, Noah (b. 2001) and Agnes (b. 2004).
Thom's brother, Andy, was in the band the Unbelievable Truth, who had brief success in the 1990s.