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Rob Thomas was the singer and principal songwriter for Matchbox Twenty, a Florida-based adult alternative combo that found success with a blend of '70s rock influences, slick hooks, and 1990s post-grunge crunch. The band broke through in 1996 with "Push" and never looked back, issuing single after single, scoring hits in various radio formats, and watching its debut LP, Yourself or Someone Like You, go platinum 12 times over in the U.S. Thomas himself won numerous songwriting awards as the scribe of such Matchbox hits as "Real World," "If You're Gone," "Bent," and "Mad Season," and parlayed that success into a career as a solo artist.

Rob Thomas was born February 14, 1972, on an Army base in Landstuhl, Germany. His parents divorced, and the ex-Army brat spent most of his childhood in South Carolina and Florida. He dropped out of high school at 17, and bounced around the South singing in pickup rock bands before landing in Orlando in 1993. There he helped form Tabitha's Secret, and the group had some regional success before Thomas, bassist Brian Yale, and drummer Paul Doucette left to form Matchbox Twenty with guitarists Adam Gaynor and Kyle Cook. Their debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, had gone five times platinum by 1998, and it established them as superstars even if Thomas wasn't individually well known.

That all changed with a song he co-wrote for the Carlos Santana album Supernatural. "Smooth" was ubiquitous in 1999, and it made Thomas a star. The track took home three Grammys including Song of the Year, and Thomas landed on People's "Most Beautiful People" list. He also married model Marisol Maldonado. Mad Season (2000) and More Than You Think You Are (2002) continued Matchbox Twenty's success, but after years of touring for both records, the bandmembers decided they needed a break, and Thomas used the hiatus to write and record his first solo album. When "Lonely No More" debuted in early 2005, its sleek and funky dance-pop sound was closer to Justin Timberlake than Matchbox, and it set up the April release of Something to Be.

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