Tom Waits< Back to author list
Lyrically, Waits' songs are known for atmospheric portrayals of bizarre, seedy characters and places, although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters, despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best known to the general public in the form of cover versions by more visible artists — for example "Jersey Girl" performed by Bruce Springsteen, "Downtown Train" performed by Rod Stewart, and "Ol' '55" performed by the Eagles. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards, and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations.