Sir Tom Jones
He’s well known for a million-selling song “She’s a Lady”, “What’s New Pussycat”, “Ladies Night”. He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music” in 2006. He has sold over 100 million records across the globe and is considered one of the world’s most iconic singers.
Sir Tom Jones’ on and off career started six decades ago, from his emergence as a vocalist for a band, airing his own TV shows and with a comeback as a coach at The Voice UK.
In the early 60s, Jones became known for his baritone voice and overt sexuality, and in 1963 he became the front man for a Welsh band Tommy Scott and The Senators. The band was well known in the region but unknown outside.
Jones’ early style was influenced by early blues and artists like Solomon Burke, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, and others. These musicians so impressed themselves on Jones’s style that many listeners thought he was black.
“There was this disk jockey,” said Jones, “who was amazed because I was white and said I should keep my face off the record sleeves because otherwise I’d lose the colored audience I’d built up and the sales would drop. But of course I didn’t. I was christened ‘our blue-eyed soul brother,’ which I liked. It was a fantastic compliment.”
The song ‘It’s Not Unusual’, composed by Gordon Mills and Les Reed became an immediate hit in 1965.
It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone
It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone
But when I see you hanging about with anyone
It’s not unusual to see me cry
Oh I wanna’ die
It’s not unusual to go out at any time
But when I see you out and about it’s such a crime
If you should ever want to be loved by anyone
It’s not unusual
Jones later used this song as the theme for his late 1960s-early 1970s television musical variety series This Is Tom Jones. It has since become Jones’ signature song.
Tom Jones’ most successful single, ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home’ was released in 1966, inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis’ version. He began releasing songs with a broader public appeal, such as ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ and ‘Delilah’.
Jones was engaged in every aspect of the media. He had a successful television show This Is Tom Jones from 1969 to 1971. The show featured guest appearances by many celebrities, such as Nancy Sinatra, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and others. It was broadcasted both in UK and the US and became worth $9 million over three years.
At the start of the 1980s, he had another show named The Tom Jones Show.
Jones was also a coach and a judge at The Voice UK from 2002-2015. In October of that year, the U.K.’s Michael Joseph published his autobiography, Over the Top and Back: The Autobiography, with its U.S. arrival coming via Blue Rider Press a month later.
Considering his personal life, Tom Jones married Malinda (“Linda”) Trenchard when they were both 16 and she was pregnant with their only child, Mark. He never got married to anyone else. However, Jones’ was accused with infidelity many times and also had children outside of the marriage. Linda died earlier this year after fighting lung cancer.
“Singing saved my life,” said Jones after her death.