MATCHBOX TWENTY frontman ROB THOMAS was horrified when he met with record label bosses as he prepared to release his solo album - because they asked him to snub his wife in public.

The German-born rocker has been married to MARISOL MALDONADO for almost six years, and was stunned when he was asked to be seen with her less to make himself more appealing, while promoting his hit album SOMETHING TO BE.

He says, "I'm a married guy and I've been doing this for a long time, and when I started doing a solo record there was kind of like a want for a shift in the image, to be younger.

"And the words actually came out: 'Can you be seen out more without your wife?' I was like, 'No!'

"But then it all washed over. But I think it was that excitement of like, 'We're gonna do something with your image,' but I like my image. I like who I am."

Thomas' stance had extra meaning for the rocker, as his wife was battling problems with her immune system while he recorded the album.