Tom Chaplin facts: The life, songs, and Masked Singer stint of the Keane frontman

17 June 2024, 14:13 | Updated: 18 June 2024, 17:13

KEANE20 - Celebrating 20 Years of Hopes and Fears

By Mayer Nissim

From Hopes and Fears to Twelve Tales of Christmas and beyond, via being a Poodle.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

They may not have been that active in the studio of late, but Tom Chaplin's band Keane remain one of the biggest British bands of the 21st century.

They have released four consecutive number one albums, as well as a fifth only kept off the top by the force of nature that is Liam Gallagher.

Not content to just work with his bandmates, Tom has also launched a successful solo career, racking up the albums and singles.

He's also managed to grab plenty of attention as a Poodle (more on that later).

Want to know more about the Keane frontman? Read on for all the fast facts.

Where did Tom Chaplin grow up and how old is he?

Tom Chaplin performs with Keane in 2004
Tom Chaplin performs with Keane in 2004. Picture: Getty Images

Thomas Oliver Chaplin was born in Hastings, East Sussex, to mum Sally and dad David on March 8, 1979, which makes him 45 years old at the time of writing.

He went to school at Vinehall School in Robertsbridge, where his dad was the headmaster, before going on to Tonbridge School.

Tom then went to the University of Edinburgh to study art history, but dropped out to go to London with some friends...

How did Tom Chaplin get into music and join Keane?

Keane - Bedshaped (Official Music Video)

Tom Chaplin's early years were bound up with those of his future Keane bandmates.

His mum and Tim Rice-Oxley's mum were good friends, which is how Tom became friends with Tim and Tim's brother (confusingly called Tom).

Tom (Chaplin) and Tim were both at Vinehall School together, as was Richard Hughes. All three went on to Tonbridge, which is where they met Dominic Scott.

As well as appearing in school plays at Vinehall, Chaplin played the flute (he later revealed that he's a grade 8 on the instrument).

In 1995, Rice-Oxley, Highes and Scott formed a covers band called The Lotus Eaters. Tim asked Tom to join on guitar. They soon changed their name to Cherry Keane, the name of one of Tom's mum's friends.

Keane - Spiralling (Official Music Video)

By 1997, they had dropped the "Cherry" and Tom had moved from guitar to lead singer.

Using their own label Zoomorphic, the group released two early singles – 'Call Me What You Like' and 'Wolf at the Door' – before Scott left the band.

"One sad piece of news for us is that in July our guitarist Dom decided to leave the band and return to his studies at LSE," said a band statement at the time.

"We wish him all the best with that. Dom's departure does give us scope to develop our sound in new directions, and the new recordings reflect the love of more electronic and ambient music that inspired us to start writing songs in the first place.

Keane - Everybody's Changing (Alternate Version)

"The sound is still unmistakably Keane – epic and dreamlike – but we're confident we've captured a new level of energy and atmosphere on tape."

After Scott's departure, the band were spotted by indie Fierce Panda, who launched the group with the stunning 'Everybody's Changing'.

It only reached 122 in the singles charts, but created a huge amount of buzz, as did follow-up 'This Is the Last Time'. Before too long they were snapped up by Island Records.

They released 'Somewhere Only We Know', which reached number three in the charts, and the band's chart-topping debut Hopes & Fears. Keane had arrived.

What are Tom Chaplin's biggest songs?

Keane - Somewhere Only We Know (Live 8 2005)

Both with Keane and as a solo artist, these are Tom Chaplin's biggest songs:

  • Everybody's Changing
  • Somewhere Only We Know
  • Bedshaped
  • Is It Any Wonder?
  • Crystal Ball
  • Spiralling
  • Stop for a Minute (featuring K'naan)
  • Higher Than the Sun
  • The Way I Feel
  • Dirt
  • Quicksand
  • Still Waiting
  • Under a Million Lights
  • 2000 Miles
  • Midpoint
  • Gravitational

When was Tom Chaplin on The Masked Singer?

Poodle Performs 'Rocket Man' By Elton John | Season 3 Ep 2 | The Masked Singer UK

Tom Chaplin was on the third UK series of The Masked Singer in 2002 in the guise of "Poodle".

He had a good stint on the show, being the fifth celebrity unmasked, outlasting Heather Small, Gloria Hunniford, Will Young and Pat Cash.

During his time on the show, he sang 'Rocket Man' by Elton John, 'Symphony' by Clean Bandit feat. Zara Larsson, and 'Unwritten' by Natasha Bedingfield.

Is Tom Chaplin married and does he have any children?

Tom Chaplin - Gravitational (Official Video)

Tom Chaplin married his partner Natalie Dive in June 2011.

They have two children together – a daughter born in 2014 and son born in 2020.