Legal name: Thomas Edward Yorke, Thomas Yorke
Also performs as: Dr Tchock
Thomas Edward "Thom" Yorke (born 7 October 1968) is an English musician best known as the singer and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. As a multi-instrumentalist, Yorke mainly plays guitar, piano and synthesiser, but also plays other instruments including bass guitar and drums. He is known for his falsetto vocals.
Yorke was born in 1968 in Northamptonshire. His family moved often before settling in Oxfordshire, where Yorke attended Abingdon School and founded Radiohead with his schoolmates. After graduating from the University of Exeter, Radiohead signed to Parlophone; their early hit "Creep" made Yorke a celebrity, and Radiohead went on to achieve critical acclaim and multi-platinum sales. Radiohead's fourth album Kid A (2000) saw Yorke and the band move into electronic music.
In 2006, Yorke released his debut solo album, The Eraser, comprising mainly electronic music. In 2009, to perform The Eraser live, he formed Atoms for Peace with musicians including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich; in 2013, the band released an album, Amok. In 2014, Yorke released his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. He has collaborated with artists including DJ Shadow, Björk, Flying Lotus and PJ Harvey, and has composed soundtracks for documentaries and theatre. With artist Stanley Donwood, he creates artwork for Radiohead's albums.
Yorke has been critical of the music industry, particularly of major labels and streaming services such as Spotify, which he believes cannot support new music. With Radiohead and his solo work he has pioneered alternative music release platforms such as pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent. Yorke is an activist of human rights, environmentalist and anti-war causes, and his lyrics often address political themes.
In 2002, Q named Yorke the sixth most powerful person in music. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the 66th greatest singer of all time.