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Kelly Jones

Stereophonics' raspy-voiced frontman Kelly Jones is a songwriter in the tradition of the Kinks' Ray Davies -- a storyteller who empathizes with the day-to-day existence of blue-collar people. Along with earning seven number one U.K. albums since Stereophonics debuted in the late '90s, Jones has released his own recordings, including 2007's Only the Names Have Been Changed and 2020's acoustic album Don't Let the Devil Take Another Day. Born in 1974 and raised in Cwmaman, South Wales, Jones formed Stereophonics while still in his teens with two childhood pals, Richard Jones (bass) and Stuart Cable (drums). At the time, the band were called the Tragic Love Company, inspired by three of the group's favorite artists: the Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone, and Bad Company. The band rehearsed in Cable's bedroom, and they traveled frequently to London for pub gigs initially as a cover band. But when Jones studied screenwriting in college, his observations about small-town life began to unreel in original compositions. The group switched their name to Stereophonics in July 1996 and a month later signed to V2. Stereophonics' raw yet melodic guitar rock attracted both critics and mainstream audiences in the U.K. Jones' honest, straightforward lyrics are stripped of glamour and pretentiousness and instead reflect the modest perspectives of the common man. Stereophonics' 1997 debut album, Word Gets Around, earned them a BRIT award for Best New Group; it was also a Top Ten hit in England. With Stereophonics, Jones has recorded over ten studio albums, including seven U.K. number ones. In 2007, he released his debut solo album, Only the Names Have Been Changed. The set was recorded in off moments during the sessions for Stereophonics' sixth album, Pull the Pin, and featured all live takes. Following more work with Stereophonics, Jones returned with his second solo outing, Don't Let the Devil Take Another Day. Released in conjunction with a band documentary, the album featured acoustic versions of his solo songs, reworked Stereophonics hits, as well as a cover of Kris Kristofferson's classic "Help Me Make It Through the Night."
© Michael Sutton /TiVo
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