Feb. 14: Rob Thomas, lead vocalist for Matchbox 20, is 39 today.

Born Robert Kelly in Landstuhl, West Germany on Ramstein Air Base to parents serving in the U.S. Army, who moved the family place to place around the world, Rob has been the primary songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty. Thomas also records and performs as a solo artist.

He and his siblings spent much time with their mother in Gainesville, Florida and with their grandparents in Manning, South Carolina where he dropped out in the twelfth grade at the age of 17.

Thomas earned three Grammy awards for co-writing and singing on the Carlos Santana triple-platinum hit "Smooth," on the album Supernatural in 1999. He has also lent his songwriting talents to such artists as Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Marc Anthony, Pat Green, Taylor Hicks, Travis Tritt and Daughtry.

Since 1995, his band has released a string of hit singles to radio including "Push," "3 A.M.," "Real World," "Back 2 Good," "Bent," "If You're Gone," "Mad Season," "Disease," "Unwell," "Bright Lights," and "How Far We've Come."

In 2004, the Songwriters Hall of Fame awarded Thomas its first Starlight Award, recognizing young songwriters who have already had a lasting influence in the music industry.

In April 2005, after nearly 10 years with Matchbox Twenty, Thomas began his solo career with the release of Something to Be which shot to #1 on the album chart. This marked the first time a male artist from a rock and/or pop group had debuted at number one with his first solo album since the Billboard 200 was introduced 50 years prior.

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Something to Be


His first single off this album, "Lonely No More," reached number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single debuted in the Top 10 of the Australian ARIAnet singles chart on the week of April 4, 2005.

The second single, "This Is How a Heart Breaks," (used during a majority of telecasts for ABC's coverage of the NBA Playoffs), was not as successful, but the third single, "Ever The Same," went gold and became a top-five Adult Contemporary hit.

In January 2007, Thomas released a single entitled "Little Wonders" from the soundtrack to the Disney animated feature, Meet the Robinsons. "Little Wonders" reached #5 on the Mediabase Hot Adult Contemporary chart. Thomas was featured on the June 14, 2007 episode of the long-running PBS series Soundstage.

In 2007, Thomas and his band Matchbox Twenty released another album entitled Exile on Mainstream. The album was a two-disc set with one disc featuring the band's greatest hits to date and the second disc featuring six new songs. The album released three singles: "How Far We've Come," "All Your Reasons," and "These Hard Times."

Also in 2009, Rob Thomas and Rivers Cuomo began a collaboration due to popular demand to appear on Weezer's eighth album. 

On June 9, 2009, Thomas released "Give Me The Meltdown" on US iTunes. Similarly, "Someday" was released on June 16. On June 22, Cradlesong was made available for streaming only on the we7 website, one week ahead of its UK release date. In March 2010, Thomas announced plans to release a four song digital only EP entitled Someday EP featuring three new songs.