Lee was born in Athens, Greece. His mother, Vassiliki "Voula" Papadimitriou, was Miss Greece in 1957, and his father was David Lee Thomas Bass, a US Army serviceman. He has one younger sister, Athena Kottak (b. 1964), who is currently the drummer of KrunK. His family moved to California a year after his birth. Lee received his first drum when he was four. However he received his first real drum kit when he was a teenager. At that time, he was listening to Kiss, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest. After transferring from South Hills High School; he joined the marching band at Royal Oak High School in Covina, California, but dropped out of school in his senior year to focus on his musical career.
Tommy Lee - Drum Solo (Live 1987)
His first successful band was called Suite 19. With a fast guitarist named Greg Leon from La Crescenta, California, the group played the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles during the late 70s. At this time he met future bandmate, Nikki Sixx. Casually, Sixx was forming a theatrical band that would specialize in anthemic heavy metal, and was impressed by Lee's playing. Sixx, Lee and Leon started jamming together, but Leon decided not to continue. At this time, he changed his name to Tommy Lee and earned the nickname "T-bone" from Sixx. He got this nickname due to his tall, skinny physique. Shortly afterwards, guitarist Mick Mars joined the band. Mars recommended a singer Tommy met at high school, Vince Neil, who soon joined the group.
Mötley Crüe and stardom Mötley Crüe quickly built a strong fanbase and they released their debut album, Too Fast for Love in 1981, on their own independent label (Leathür Records). Elektra Records decided to sign the band shortly thereafter, reissuing their debut in 1982. The band then began a string of hit releases throughout the decade -- 1983's Shout at the Devil, 1985's Theatre of Pain, 1987's Girls, Girls, Girls, and 1989's Dr. Feelgood -- establishing the quartet as one of the biggest hard rock/metal bands of the '80s. During this time, Lee used several memorable gimmicks during his drum solo at concerts, such as having his entire kit revolving and spinning, or having the entire kit float above the crowd while he continued to play. He also was legendary for mooning the crowd at nearly every show.
Tommy Lee had married a model/stripper Elaine Starchuk  in 1984 they were together for three years and the marriage only lasted for three months
As the popularity of the band rose, Lee also made the headlines with his numerous romantic involvements. He married actress Heather Locklear in 1986, but they divorced in 1993.
Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee: Hardcore & UncensoredIn 1995, he married actress Pamela Anderson. They have two children, Brandon Thomas, born June 5, 1996, and Dylan Jagger, born December 29, 1997. It was with Anderson that one of Lee's most famous incidents arose when one of their private videos was stolen in 1995. The couple had videotaped their sexual activities while on vacation. The tape was widely circulated, and was one of the first examples of nude celebrities on the Internet. The couple divorced in 1998, and he served four months in prison after pleading no contest to kicking Anderson in the crotch. The couple legally divorced, although they reunited briefly upon his release.
Lee also decided to leave Mötley Crüe during his stay in prison, and stuck to his promise after the completion of the Crüe's Greatest Hits tour in 1999. With the popularity of rap metal, Lee formed a band called Methods of Mayhem. The band released a self-titled album the same year and toured in support of it.
Although Lee distanced himself from Mötley Crüe after splitting, he agreed to take part in their 2001 autobiography, The Dirt. In addition to Mötley Crüe and Methods of Mayhem, Lee has made guest appearances on albums by other artists, such as Stuart Hamm, Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie. He also contributed a solo song, "Welcome to Planet Boom" to the soundtrack of then-wife Pamela Anderson's 1996 movie, Barb Wire, and produced an album for the pre-Goldfinger project from John Feldmann and Simon Williams, the Electric Love Hogs.
Also in 2001, four-year-old Daniel Karven-Veres drowned at Lee's Malibu, California, home during a birthday party for Lee's son Brandon. On April 17, 2003, a Superior Court jury took less than three hours to reject a wrongful death claim made by Daniel's parents, German actress Ursula Karven and TV producer James Veres. The suit accused Lee of negligence for failing to have a lifeguard or someone trained in CPR present during the birthday party.
Lee parted ways with Methods of Mayhem partner Tilo and began recording with members of Incubus. Shortly after, he started recording songs featuring himself almost exclusively, and he ended up releasing his first solo album. The album, 2002's Never a Dull Moment, had tones of rap metal and electronica, and featured little of the Mötley Crüe sound he was famous for. In August of 2002, Tommy Lee and his solo band joined that year's Ozzfest main stage, as a replacement act for Drowning Pool, whose singer, Dave Williams, died on their tour bus.
Tommy Lee in NBC's Tommy Lee Goes to College.In 2004, Lee reunited with the original Mötley Crüe line-up to release the double-disc album of hits entitled Red, White & Crüe. They launched a monumental reunion tour to support it, The Red, White & Crüe Tour 2005: Better Live Than Dead, the band's first in six years. They also finished the year number 8 on the top concert money earners list. They played 81 shows and grossed $33 million US (Billboard Boxscore). This figure did not include a tour of Australia in December 2005.
Lee released his autobiography Tommyland in 2004. That year Lee briefly attended, but did not enroll in, the University of Nebraska for a few weeks in the fall of 2004, while filming a reality television show for NBC called Tommy Lee Goes to College. The show featured a "fish-out-of-water" premise as it followed Lee's effort to fit into the collegiate experience, including trying out for the band (as a drummer), taking courses in horticulture, chemistry, and literature, and receiving constant support from a sexy and smart tutor. Lee was also one of the producers of the reality TV show. At the same time, he released his new solo album, Tommyland: The Ride in August 2005. The CD featured the single, "Good Times". His new single, with video to be released soon, is "Hello, Again". This features Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin.
Tommy Lee was also a guest DJ at WXRK "K-Rock" in New York during the Fourth of July Monster Metal Meltdown in 2005.
He has formed a new band called Rock Star Supernova with Jason Newsted (Voivod, ex-Metallica) and Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N' Roses). The 2006 season of Rock Star selected Lukas Rossi as the lead singer for Supernova. Dilana, the runner-up, accepted an offer to go on tour with Supernova along with assistance in producing an album of her own.
Lee also recorded drum tracks for the alternative rock band Jack's Mannequin, which has released the album Everything in Transit.
Tommy Lee is a supporter of animal rights and PETA. He recently donated autographed drumsticks to support PETA's campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In 2006, Tommy launched his own clothing line with apparel manufacturer People's Liberation, to produce jeans, T-shirts and other products featuring graphics inspired by his tattoos. The line is carried by high-end retailers, including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and other boutiques and chains. People's Liberation brand clothing is marketed and manufactured by Versatile Entertainment, which also produces the William Rast brand, inspired by Justin Timberlake.