Tom Jones biography - part five

Tom Jones

On 5 August 1986 Gordon Mills, Tom's long-time manager, died of cancer.

A former bus conductor who at one stage owned the largest collection of orang-utans in the world, Mills had guided Tom throughout his career, taking him from Ponty to London, and then beyond.

Tom's son Mark became his father's manager. Mark revamped his image, ditching the medallions and big hair in favour of a new, modern look. He worked on a new sound for Tom, and in April 1987 the singer re-entered the singles chart again.

A Boy From Nowhere was a big-time ballad, hardly far removed from what had gone before, but most importantly it got Tom back in the public eye.

Just a few months later, Tom appeared on Jonathan Ross' show The Last Resort. He performed a version of Prince's Kiss, and it went down an absolute storm. Tom recorded it with The Art Of Noise, and it was another hit. Tom was back.

Mark brought Tom to a whole new generation of fans. After a brief collaboration with Van Morrison, Tom hosted a new TV show, The Right Time.

In 1993 he signed to Interscope (home to Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and, latterly, Eminem), and released the album The Lead And How To Swing It. On it, he collaborated with people including Teddy Riley, Flood and Youth.

In 1995 Tom headlined Glastonbury, to a rapturous reception. In 1998 he performed a medley of songs from the film The Full Monty with Robbie Williams at the Brit Awards. Also that year, Space and Cerys Matthews released The Ballad Of Tom Jones.

His hugely successful 1999 album Reload, a collection of duets with some of the year's brightest stars, brought him back into the limelight where he's always been most comfortable.


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