People

Theo Tams – biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

IntroCanadian singer
Is Musician 
Singer 
Pianist 
From Canada 
Type Music 
Gendermale
Birth 12 July 1985, Lethbridge
Age:35 years

Theo Tams (born 12 July 1985) is a Canadian singer and the winner of the sixth season of the CTV reality show Canadian Idol. His debut album, Give It All Away, was released on 19 May 2009 by Sony Music Canada.

Early life

Tams grew up in Coaldale, Alberta, and he attended Immanuel Christian High School in Lethbridge. Tams played trumpet in high school, and is self-taught on piano. Before Idol, he was a student at the University of Lethbridge, studying classical music and psychology. He is taking a leave from his studies to pursue a music career.

Tams released the EP Unexpected in 2005.

Canadian Idol

At his audition for Canadian Idol in February 2008, Tams drew laughs from the judges as he demonstrated evidence of his anxiety-related perspiration, having soaked through his shirt.

Tams most often performed while playing piano. His performances included “Apologize” by OneRepublic, “Collide” by Howie Day, Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”, and Jann Arden’s “Good Mother”. Idol judge Zack Werner described Tams’ performance of Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” as “one of the top two or three performances in the history of the show.”

He won Canadian Idol on September 10, 2008, after singing three songs on the final performance show that included “Sing” (released to radio and digital download on 11 September 2008), which was the winner’s single chosen for him. The runner-up, Nova Scotia carpenter Mitch MacDonald, performed a different song as his own potential winner’s single, the first time this has been done on Canadian Idol.

Although the Idol winner’s first album usually is released about two months after the show’s finale, Tams had much longer to prepare his. Tams said he appreciated the longer time, and hoped to have some songs he wrote himself included on the album.

Performances and results

WeekThemeMentorSongArtistResult
Top 24Semifinal Group 2“Apologize”OneRepublic/
Timbaland
Safe
Top 20Semifinal Group 2“Collide”Howie DaySafe
Top 16Semifinal Group 1“Bubbly”Colbie CaillatSafe
Top 10Songs of David Bowie“Silly Boy Blue”David BowieSafe
Top 9Hits of Dead Artists“No Woman, No Cry”Bob Marley & The WailersSafe
Top 8Unplugged Music WeekGavin Rossdale“Weak in the Knees”Serena RyderSafe
Top 7Top 10 UK HitsTom Jones“You Had Me”Joss StoneBottom 3
Top 6Canada Rock(s)Simple Plan“Sweet Ones”Sarah SleanSafe
Top 5Judges’ Theme
The Beatles
“The Long and Winding Road”The BeatlesSafe
Top 4Anne Murray’s Music
Idol’s Choice
Anne Murray“You Don’t Know Me”
“Chariot”
Anne Murray
Gavin DeGraw
Safe
Top 3Songs of Bryan AdamsBryan Adams“Heaven”
“When You’re Gone”
Bryan AdamsSafe
Top 2Idol’s Choice
Idol Single
Judges’ Choice
John Legend
Hedley
“Good Mother”
“Sing”
“I Wanna Know What Love Is”
Jann Arden
Theo Tams
Foreigner
WINNER

Post-Idol

Tams moved to Toronto to work on collaborations for his debut album. Tams toured Canada along with runner-up Mitch MacDonald and third-place finisher Drew Wright in November–December 2008.

Career

Christmas Dream (2008)

Tams released the single “Christmas Dream”, a song he cowrote with Luke McMaster, Simon Wilcox and Greg Johnston. The B-side of the single is a cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, and all proceeds are being donated to the charity Free the Children. It peaked at #69 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Tams also performed with Eva Avila and David Archuleta for Toronto’s CHUM FM’s annual Christmas Wish Breakfast.

Give It All Away (2009–2010)

On 17 March 2009, his first single from his album was released, “Lazy Lovers”, written by Tams, Hawksley Workman, and Greg Johnston.

His debut album, Give It All Away, was released on 19 May 2009. It features seven songs he co-wrote, which is more than any previous “Idol”. Writing collaborators on the album include Simon Wilcox, Hawksley Workman, Sarah Slean, and Damhnait Doyle. A cross-Canada tour is planned for September.

Tams released a charity Christmas single alongside Ali Slaight called “Do You Hear What I Hear.” This song went to #1 on the Canadian AC Chart.

Tams’s next single is “Manhattan Blue.” The music video for the song was released May 28, 2010. The video features So You Think You Can Dance Canada second season winner Tara-Jean Popowich and Vincent Desjardins. The video premiered on ET Canada on June 17, 2010.

In April 2010, Theo Tams sought out a new management and business team to handle his career, a move that has already demonstrated a renewed energy and strategic direction for Theo as he moves to the next level and his all important ‘sophomore’ album that will create a clear distinction between the ‘Idol’ and the long-term ‘career-artist’.

Tams headlined a 15 date cross-Canada tour with special guests StereoGoesStellar, which started August 7, 2010 and met with much critical acclaim as he toured smaller more intimate venues playing in an up close and personal presentation of his songs solo on piano.

Second studio album (2011–present)

Tams explains that his second album, which will be released in 2011 will be a real “artist” album in so far as it will showcase just exactly who he is and what he stands for as a singer/songwriter. It will dig deeper emotionally than his debut album and represent almost a “song diary” that comes from a mixture of his life experiences since “Give It All Away” and from other parts of his life before his Idol experience. One of his new songs focuses on his experience in Afghanistan. Theo has already begun the intense writing process with one of his heroes, who will also be producing the record. It is expected that the project will be formally announced towards the end of January 2011 and the production team named.

Personal life

Tams came out as gay during the show’s run by referring to a male partner during one of his post-performance interviews. This made him the first openly gay performer to win an Idol series in North America. He subsequently endorsed Adam Lambert in the 2009 edition of American Idol, and included two gay couples, one male and one female, in the video for his single “Lazy Lovers” Theo is also a fan of Ellen DeGeneres, and wants to be on her show. He also admires Mother Teresa and her work.

On June 28, 2010, Tams took a trip to Afghanistan to perform for the Canadian troops on Canada Day. This was an opportunity for him to visit Canadian and allied troops not only on the base in Kandahar but he travelled by Blackhawk outside of the wire to meet with and hear the stories of the front-line troops. On July 14, he told Canada AM that it was “the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had.”

Discography

Albums

  • Give It All Away (2009)
  • “Back Pocket” (2014)

Singles

  • “Sing” (2008)
  • “Christmas Dream” (2008)
  • “Lazy Lovers” (2009)
  • “Wait for You” (2009)
  • “Do You Hear What I Hear?” duet w/ Ali Slaight (2009)
  • “Manhattan Blue” (2010)
  • “2000 Miles” duet w/ Ali Slaight (2012)
  • “When You’re Not Around” (2014)
  • “Stay” (2014)
  • “Back Pocket” (2015)
  • “Silent Night” duet w/ Ali Slaight

Awards and nominations

YearPresenterAwardResult
2009Gemini AwardsBest Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series

(Canadian Idol Top 6 Show – “Sweet Ones” performance)

Nominated
2010Canadian Radio Music AwardsMainstream AC ArtistNominated

Tours

  • 2008: Canadian Idols LIVE! Tour 2008
  • 2009: Give It All Away Tour
  • 2010: Taking It All Back Tour : 2010″ w/sg StereoGoesStellar