Kenny Thomas is thinking about your love tonight, today and always. Outstanding!
British singer Kenny Thomas (b.1968) kicked off the 1990’s with a string of hit singles and two top ten albums before joining some well known 80’s groups on tour and even becoming the lead singer of one them, a job he still occupies. Kenny was born and grew up in London and took jobs as a boxer and a telephone installer before pursuing his first love, music. He had released a single back in 1988, “I Wanna Make Love To You Baby”, although this made no impact, and was signed to Cooltempo Records and released his first single proper, a cover of Gap Band’s “Outstanding”, in 1990.
Surpisingly the song was not an instant hit and it was only after much promo and a re-issue in January 1991 that “Outstanding” broke the UK chart and reached No.12. The song went top ten in New Zealand and was followed that Spring with “Thinking About Your Love”, which would become Kenny’s biggest hit, reaching No.4 in the UK. Prior to the release of his debut album, a third track, “Best Of You”, followed that Summer and would become his one and only significant chart hit across Europe, charting in Germany, France and The Netherlands as well as making No.11 at home.
Kenny’s album, “Voices”, followed in September and would peak at No.3 in the UK, gaining a Platinum disc for sales of 300,000 copies. A further top thirty hit came in the UK at the end of 1991 with “Tender Love” and Kenny was rewarded the following year with nominations at the Brit Awards in the Best British Newcomer and Best British Male artist categories. After a period of rest, Kenny launched into writing and recording the follow up, the first single from which emerged in in June 1993, “Stay”. The song sadly stopped just short of the UK top twenty although his cover of The Staple Singers song “Trippin’ On Your Love” did make it that Summer.
His second album, “Wait For Me”, followed exactly two years after his debut and would make the UK top ten and would include one further top 40 hit, “Piece By Piece”, although a fourth release, “Destiny”, fared less well in early 1994. Kenny returned to the chart in 1995 with “When I Think of You” (UK No.27) but this would represent his last chart showing to date. The obligatory best of, “The Best”, followed at the end of the decade and that, it seemed, was that for Kenny Thomas. But only for six years…
Kenny came back for the TV singing contest Hit Me Baby One More Time in 2005 when he joined other former chart stars in a bid for a career revival. Although he didn’t win the contest, it did make people aware of him once more and in 2006, he recorded and released a new album, “Crazy World”, from which the title track was issued as a single. He supported Level 42 on their tour later that year before embarking on a career as a qualified Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine practitioner! Kenny returned to music in 2011 with a new album, “Breathe” and two years later, teamed up with jazz pianist Wayne Brown for the covers album, “The Thomas Brown Affair”.
In 2016 Kenny joined the 80’s group Living In A Box as the replacement for Richard Darbyshire, who declined an invitation to reform the original line up. Kenny now occupies his time touring with ‘Tich’ Critchlow and Marcus Vere as they perform the groups well known hits from both studio albums released in 1987 and 1989 respectively. And why not! From something “Outstanding” to living in a cardboard box, Kenny keeps his career options constantly open as well as surprising us all.
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