Howard Jones was born John Howard Jones in Southampton, England, where he took up piano lessons at the age of seven. He and his family temporarily moved to Canada when he was a teenager. It was here he joined his first band, a progressive rock-group called Warrior.
Howard and his family later relocated back to the United Kingdom, where he began teaching piano lessons for spare income. One student, Jan Smith, would go on to marry Jones. In our 2011 talk, Howard told us
: "I've been married to my wife, Jan, for over 30 years. And our relationship has just got better and better as we got older together. So it is the thing that gave me most joy in my life. Like, absolute pure joy."
Howard briefly studied classical music at the Royal Northern College of Music in the mid-'70s.
He worked in a clingfilm factory in Buckinghamshire, England for several years whilst trying to make it as a musician.
In his formative years, Howard would appear on stage alongside mime artist, Jed Hoile, who would do improvised choreography to Jones' music.
In 1983, Howard was signed to WEA in the UK and Elektra in the US. In March 1984, he released his debut album, Human's Lib, which charted at #1 in the UK.
Howard was known for sporting an eccentric, throwaway hairstyle throughout the 1980s. While lesser men would cringe at the memory, Howard remains proud of his bold fashion statement, telling us: "I'm absolutely so proud of it I can't tell you. Do you realize how brave you have to be to walk into a pub with hair like that? You have to have guts."
His parents, Thelma and John, both ran the Howard Jones' fan club in the 1980s.
In July 1985, Howard performed at London's Wembley Stadium as part of Live Aid
. He sang his 1984 track, "Hide and Seek
," on a piano belonging to Freddie Mercury.
Howard is a vegetarian. In 1987, he opened a vegetarian restaurant/bar in the West Village of New York City called Nowhere, whose patrons included Madonna, Lou Reed and Michael J. Fox.
In 2001, Howard Jones toured with former Beatle Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band.
Howard is a practicing Buddhist and is part of the Sōka Gakkai movement, whose core belief is treating all life with respect.
Jones had a terrible stutter when he was young. Music helped him gain confidence and communicate, and eventually he stopped stuttering.