Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Singer > Y > Thom Yorke

Profile of Thom Yorke on Famous Like Me

Name: Thom Yorke  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 7th October 1968
Place of Birth: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England, UK
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Early 1990s. Punk roots. Featuring his famous t-shirt "Presse : Ne Pas Avaler" ("The Press: Do Not Swallow")

Thomas Edward Yorke (born October 7, 1968 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England) is the lead singer and songwriter of the UK band Radiohead. He plays guitar and piano. He currently lives in central Oxford with his long-term partner, Rachel Owen, and their two children, Noah (to whom Amnesiac was dedicated) and Agnes.


Born with a paralysed left eye, Yorke spent most of his first five years undergoing operations which left him with impaired vision and his trademark lazy eye. Classmates often taunted him with the nickname "Salamander." After seeing Queen guitarist Brian May perform on television, Yorke was inspired to become a musician. He received his first guitar at the age of 7 and joined his first band by the age of 11 while attending the private Abingdon School for boys, at which he was to meet his future Radiohead bandmates Ed O'Brien, Colin Greenwood, drummer Phil Selway and Colin's younger brother Jonny. They were initially named "On A Friday", Friday being the only day on which they were able to play. The band continued to practise and write new material even while studying at different British universities. Whilst attending the University of Exeter Yorke was a member of the Headless Chickens, and also worked as an orderly in a mental hospital. In 1990 On A Friday regrouped back in Oxford. Jonny was alone among them in not completing his degree course. The name changed to Radiohead at the suggestion of the band's A & R agent after signing to EMI and was taken from the Talking Heads album 'True Stories.'

Radiohead work

While the early success of hit-single 'Creep' led to the band being written off as a one-hit wonder, a succession of increasingly complex albums has led to Radiohead becoming one of the world's most respected bands. Themes of urban-existentialism, illness, and love dominate his lyrics. Thom uses the pseudonym Tchock (a.k.a. Tchocky, Dr. Tchock) when doing band artwork with Stanley Donwood.

He and R.E.M.'s singer Michael Stipe are close friends, and frequently attend each other's concerts; both are fans of each other's music. Yorke has said that Stipe inspires many of his songs and helped him to get out of a period of depression after touring for OK Computer (1997) and before releasing Kid A (2000). The song "How to Disappear Completely" from the latter album, was inspired by the words of Stipe, who advised Yorke when depressed to tell to himself, "I'm not here and this isn't happening" (this mantra becoming the song's chorus). Stipe has in turn noted that many Radiohead songs, such as "A Wolf at the Door" and "There There", have inspired him in his own songwriting.

Yorke's distinctive vocals and enigmatic persona have made him a cult figure; he has also been outspoken on various contemporary political and social issues, though, in his own words, he is "careful not to preach". Some of his songs have political undertones, but only on 'Hail to the Thief' - a reference that hints at the skewering of post-9/11 politics that ensues - do the songs become based on contemporary issues. He is considered by many to be one of the finest lyricists in popular music. Yorke's music is very important to him, as evidenced by this quote: "the track-listing is always the hardest part for me; it is so difficult and almost painful. I can only use the old metaphor about songs being like children. My songs are my kids. Some of them stay with me, some others I have to send out, out to the war. It might sound stupid and it might even sound naive, but that’s just the way it is. I talked to Bjork about it and she agrees, she says she feels exactly the same way about her songs."

Other work

Yorke has also garnered attention as a political activist campaigning for causes including Fair Trade, Anti-War movements, and Amnesty International. He even played at the Free Tibet concert in 1999. Thom Yorke and other Radiohead members were heavily influenced by Elvis Costello, R.E.M., The Fall, Queen, Tom Jones, Clinic, PJ Harvey, Björk, Nirvana (in their earlier years), the Pixies, the Talking Heads, and Joy Division. Besides his extensive work with the band, Yorke also collaborates with other musicians. He has worked with Björk, PJ Harvey, Tom Jones, James Lavelle, Beck, U.N.K.L.E., and DJ Shadow.

Yorke & Jonny Greenwood in 2004 contributed to the Do They Know It's Christmas charity single.


  • Drugstore
"El President": Thom shared vocals with Isabel from the band Drugstore on the band's first single, "El President," off their album White Magic For Lovers.
  • Come Again
"Wish You Were Here": Thom collaborated with Sparklehorse on a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." Thom sang his part on the telephone from his hotel room where you can hear his TV in the background.
"Rabbit In Your Headlights": Thom and DJ Shadow got together during the OK Computer tour in San Francisco and recorded "Rabbit in Your Headlights" for the James Lavelle project going under the name UNKLE. The album is called Psyence Fiction.
  • Velvet Goldmine: Thom and Jonny got together with Bernard Butler, Andy Mackay, and Paul Kimble to form the band, The Venus in Furs. They recorded five songs for the Michael Stipe produced movie, Velvet Goldmine. The tracks are:
  • Björk
Thom and Björk sang a duet called "I've Seen It All" on Selmasongs, the soundtrack to Dancer in the Dark. Note: In the movie, the song isn't sung by Thom Yorke.
  • PJ Harvey
Thom had a strong presence on PJ Harvey's 2000 release, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. Thom did a duet with Harvey on the song "This Mess We're In" and sang back-up on two other songs: "One Line" and "Beautiful Feeling".

A note on genre

Genre labels being loaded as well as approximate terms, it should be noted that the idea of Radiohead being in the progressive rock (prog) tradition is solely from the perspective of some listeners. Asked in 2001 by a journalist "[w]hat is it about prog-rock that still appeals, despite it being widely treated as a genre for losers [and] geeks," Thom Yorke essentially concurred with the charge rather than rebutting it:

"prog rock is sad. and krautrock is not prog rock is more punk. queen were not prog rock. they were camp and not serious or shite enough. pink floyd moved too slow to be prog rock. certain areas of electronica smell of prog occasionally, i try not to notice. those who thought prog rock was like jazz are deluded. i dont know what prog rock is. never did. just because you change time signature a couple of times doesnt mean you is singing abou the fairies in the woods does it? were genesis prog rock? when peter gabriel put a flower round his head and kicked a bass drum was that prog? i have no connectivity with anything prog whatsoever except maybethat last bit about the flower and the kick drum and peter gabriel."

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Thom Yorke