About Tom Waits
Inspired by folk, blues, and jazz, Tom Waits is an eclectic singer-songwriter beloved for his vivid songs about seedy characters and his distinctive growling voice.
∙ His 1973 debut, Closing Time, contains several songs later covered by other artists, including “Ol’ 55” (Eagles) and “Martha” (Tim Buckley, Meat Loaf).
∙ Waits received an Oscar nomination for his soundtrack to the 1982 Francis Ford Coppola film One from the Heart.
∙ Both 1983’s Swordfishtrombones and 1985’s Rain Dogs made best-of-the-decade lists, with the latter named on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
∙ He’s won two Grammy Awards, including Best Alternative Music Album for 1992’s Bone Machine and Best Contemporary Folk Album for 1999’s Mule Variations.
∙ Also an actor, Waits has appeared in films by such notable directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, and Robert Altman, who cast him in the Golden Globe winning film Short Cuts.
BORNDecember 7, 1949