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Tommy Lee (born October 3, 1962) is an American musician, and founding member of glam metal band Mötley Crüe. As well as being the band's long-term drummer, Lee founded rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem, and has pursued solo musical projects. He has also been married to actresses Heather Locklear and Pamela Anderson, with whom he had two children.

Early life and career

Lee was born in Athens, Greece, as Thomas Lee Bass. ", and his father, David Oliver Bass, was a US Army serviceman of Welsh descent. He has one younger sister, Athena Kottak (b. 1964), who is currently married to James Kottak, the drummer for the band Scorpions and the current drummer of Kottak. His family moved to California one year after his birth. He received his first drum when he was four. However he received his first real drum kit when he was a teenager.

By that time he was listening to Kiss, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest. As he started listening to Kiss, his main drum influence became Peter Criss. After transferring from South Hills High School (West Covina, California); he joined the marching band at Royal Oak High School (now Royal Oak Middle School) in Covina, California, but dropped out of school in his senior year to focus on his musical career.

His first successful band Suite 19 played the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles during the late 70s. At this time he met future bandmate, Nikki Sixx. Casually, Sixx was forming a theatrical band that would specialize in anthemic heavy metal, and was impressed by Lee's drumming. At this time, he changed his name to Tommy Lee and earned the nickname "T-bone" due to his 6′ 2½″ height and his skinny physique. Shortly afterward, guitarist Mick Mars joined the band. Mars recommended a singer Tommy had met while in high school, Vince Neil, who soon joined the group, and Mötley Crüe was formed.

[Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe quickly built a strong fan base and they released their debut album, Too Fast for Love in 1981, on their own independent label (Leathür Records). Elektra Records decided to sign the band shortly thereafter, reissuing their debut in 1982. The band then began a string of hit releases throughout the decade—1983's Shout at the Devil, 1985's Theatre of Pain, 1987's Girls, Girls, Girls, and 1989's Dr. Feelgood-establishing the quartet as one of the biggest hard rock/metal bands of the '80s.

During this time, Lee used several memorable gimmicks during his drum solo at concerts, such as having his entire kit revolving and spinning, or having the entire kit float above the crowd while he continued to play. He also was legendary for mooning the crowd at nearly every show. The band was known for their decadent behavior both on and off the stage, often dabbling in excessive amounts of hard drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and pills and drinking in excess.

In 2004, Lee reunited with the original Mötley Crüe line-up to release the double-disc album of hits entitled Red, White & Crüe launched a monumental reunion tour to support it, The Red, White & Crüe Tour 2005: Better Live Than Dead, the band's first in six years. They also finished the year number 8 on the top concert money earners list. They played 81 shows and grossed $33 million US

Solo career

Tommy Lee came back once with Mötley Crüe to go on the Crüe's Greatest Hits tour in 1999. With the popularity of rap metal, Lee formed a band called Methods of Mayhem. The band released a self-titled album the same year and toured in support of it. Although Lee distanced himself from Mötley Crüe after splitting, he agreed to take part in their 2001 autobiography, The Dirt. In addition to Mötley Crüe and Methods of Mayhem, Lee has made guest appearances on albums by other artists, such as Stuart Hamm, Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie. He also contributed a song, "Planet Boom" (originally on Mötley Crüe's Quaternary EP) to the soundtrack of then-wife Pamela Anderson's 1996 movie, Barb Wire, and produced an album for the pre-Goldfinger project from John Feldmann and Simon Williams, the Electric Love Hogs. Lee parted ways with Methods of Mayhem partner Tilo and began recording with members of Incubus. He then released his first solo album. The album, 2002's Never a Dull Moment, has tones of rap metal and electronica. The song "Blue" features guest vocalist Rodleen Getsic (the credits read: "Rolleen"). In August 2002, Tommy Lee and his solo band joined Ozzfest, mainstage. He formed a new band called Rock Star Supernova with Jason Newsted (Voivod, ex-Metallica) and Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N' Roses).

The 2006 season of Rock Star selected Lukas Rossi as the lead singer for Supernova. Dilana, Magni Ásgeirsson, and Toby Rand with his own band Juke Kartel were the three runners up and accepted an offer to go on tour with Supernova. Rock Star Supernova was released their debut album on November 21, 2006.

Lee released his autobiography, Tommyland, in 2004. He released his new solo album, Tommyland: The Ride in August 2005. The CD featured the singles, "Tryin to be Me" and "Good Times". His new single is "Hello, Again". This features Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin. Tommy Lee was also a guest DJ at WXRK "K-Rock" in New York during the Fourth of July Monster Metal Meltdown in 2005.

Lee also recorded drum tracks for the alternative rock band Jack's Mannequin, which has released the album Everything in Transit. Tommy Lee is a supporter of animal rights and PETA. He made a donation to support PETA's campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In November 2007, it was announced by Nikki Sixx that Tommy Lee was no longer a member of Mötley Crüe. Lee reportedly quit after the rest of the band sued his manager, Carl Stubner, for forcing Tommy to take part in reality tv shows, thus forcing the cancellation of a lengthy leg of Crüe tourdates in 2006. Lee already quit once in 2007 in September before returning to the band. Vince Neil refuted the claims that Tommy Lee resigned from the band and that the band would be going into the studio in January to start recording their newest studio album. In the end, Tommy Lee did end up recording the new album, Saints of Los Angeles, and toured with Crüe in 2008 in their tour, Crüefest. Mötley Crüe is now on their Saints of Los Angeles Tour, which started on February 2, which includes Lee. This tour will be followed by Crüfest 2.

Tommy Lee's current artistic endeavors include touring as an electronic dance music DJ with his Methods Of Mayhem DJ/production partner, DJ Aero (birth name: Chester Deitz). As DJs, they are also known as Electro Mayhem and have clocked over 60 club dates as DJs throughout North America (with stops in the Bahamas and Central America) in 2007 alone, with more international dates planned for 2008 (including a stop in Iceland). Lee and Aero debuted as DJs on the mainstage at Ultra Music Festival during Winter Music Conference (WMC) in 2004. Lee and Aero have been DJing together since 2000, and they will again have a major presence at Miami's WMC in 2008. Lee is presently (2009) appearing in select cities with Sharam, one half of Grammy Award nominated and Grammy Award winning Deep Dish. He is accompanying Sharam live on the piano during Sharam's famous underground house DJ sets.

In an interview held backstage at the 2009 Download Festival, Tommy Lee confirmed that he is currently working on his as of yet to be named third solo album. It is expected to be released sometime in 2010.

Television

In 2004, Lee briefly attended, but did not enroll in, the University of Nebraska for a few weeks in the fall of 2004, while filming a reality television show for NBC called Tommy Lee Goes to College. The show featured a "fish-out-of-water" premise as it followed Lee's effort to fit into the collegiate experience, including trying out for the marching band (as a drummer), taking courses in horticulture, chemistry, and literature, and receiving constant support from a sexy and smart tutor.

Lee was also one of the producers of the reality TV show. In spring 2008, Lee commenced filming of a reality TV show with rapper Ludacris for Planet Green (Discovery Channel's 24-hour eco-friendly network) titled,"Battleground Earth". The show focuses on environmental challenges between Lee and Ludacris to raise awareness for green causes. The Planet Green aired through till September 2008.

Lee was married the first time in April 1984 to Elaine Irwin Bergen. They divorced after just one month in May 1984. In 1986, Lee married actress Heather Locklear. The couple divorced in 1993.

Subsequent to their divorce, Lee dated and lived with model/actress Bobbie Brown. In 1995, he married actress/pinup Pamela Anderson (1995–98). They have two children, Brandon Thomas, born June 6, 1996, and Dylan Jagger, born December 29, 1997. Anderson and Lee married only four days after meeting, after Lee pursued her while she was on vacation with a friend. They wed on a beach, Anderson wearing only a white bikini. The couple had videotaped their sexual activities while on vacation. The video was stolen in 1995 and released on the Internet, becoming a prime example of viral pornography. The couple divorced in 1998, he served four months in prison after pleading no contest to kicking Anderson while she was holding their son Dylan. Although divorced, the couple reunited briefly upon his release from jail but eventually split again.

Lee suffered a further 1998 lawsuit when he exposed a swastika tattoo on his arm to public scrutiny (the tattoo was in fact a swastika facing backwards). In 1996, Lee had pled no contest to criminal charges of battery against a Jewish photographer after Lee attacked the man outside the famous Viper Room, in L.A. When the photographer sued Lee, the "swastika" tattoo (which Lee has since removed) was said to be visible and Lee’s lawyer argued it would inflame the jury and create unfair prejudice against Lee

Shortly after claiming that the introduction of the tattoo into the court record would produce prejudice, Lee denied its existence. Lee's attorney reported the swastika was a “stupid tattoo obtained several years ago”

On June 16, 2001, four-year-old Daniel Karven-Veres drowned in Lee's swimming pool while attending a birthday party for Lee's 5-year-old son, Brandon. His parents, James Veres and Ursula Karven, sued Lee for negligence, claiming that they should have been told that a swimming pool was involved — their son could not swim — and that, as the owner, he should have hired a lifeguard. Lee was cleared by a jury in April 2003.

In September 2007, Lee was kicked out of the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony after engaging in a fight with Kid Rock. Lee dated Mayte Garcia, the ex-wife of Prince, and the two lived together and were briefly engaged in 2001. In 2008 it was announced that he and Pamela Anderson were indeed back together and living with each other and their kids.They have since split and have both moved on to date other people.

On August 14, 2009, Lee injured his hand in an accident with some sparklers, bandmate Nikki Sixx told the press "We were having fun and his hand caught on fire, it got fucked up pretty bad, he should be back by September though, he can still play the piano with us on tour, but he'll have to sit by for a while." On August 29, Lee returned to playing drums for Motley Crue for the first time since his injury. Drummer Morgan Rose [sevendust] filled in for him for many of the dates he was forced to sit out.

In March 25, 2010, he co-presented the International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) along with Roger Sanchez and DJ Rap. He apparently loves dance music and is very good friends with Deadmau5.

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