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About Tommy Blaize

A seasoned professional who has paid his dues many times over, Tommy Blaize was best known as vocalist of the in-house band for the hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing when he released his official debut solo album at the age of 54. Born on March 5, 1963 and raised in Toxteth, a tough working-class neighborhood of Liverpool, he grew up with soul music, showing talent early as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. By the age of nine, while still in elementary school, he was already singing professionally, touring the working men's clubs of northern England with his two siblings as the Blaize Brothers, a Jackson Five and Drifters tribute act. After school he attended music college, playing piano in a bar, then went to Ibiza where he joined a band playing a grueling schedule of four gigs a night, seven days a week, for two years straight -- an experience he credited with turning him into a hardened professional. Session work followed with the likes of Joe Cocker, Craig David, Take That, Brian Eno, and Basement Jaxx, and a world tour with Robbie Williams, before he landed the Strictly gig in 2003, playing live to a TV audience of millions every Saturday night. Like most involved in the revival, he thought it would be a flash in the pan: 14 years later, he was still doing it. He also continued to perform regularly outside the show. In 2008, he self-released a little-heard calypso album, Island in the Sun, and three years later, Don't Ya Love Life -- an album of mostly original material in a soul-jazz vein, recorded with the band who played with him on Strictly. In 2017, he signed to Universal to record his official debut solo album, Life & Soul, which saw him turn his velvet pipes to a selection of his favorite soul classics from the golden age of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and Jackie Wilson. ~ John D. Buchanan

Toxteth, Liverpool, England
Mar 5, 1963

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