Tom Jones biography - part seven

Tom Jones

Tom still enjoys a consistent international touring schedule throughout the year.

He lives with his wife of 48 years, Melinda, in their home in Los Angeles. His sister lives close by. His son Mark, and daughter-in-law Donna, have managed his career since 1987. His grandson Alexander was born in 1983 and granddaughter Emma in 1987. Both were born in Los Angeles and are now being educated in England.

On 28 May 2005 a spectacular one-off concert was staged in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd, to celebrate Tom's 65th birthday. 25,000 people attended, along with stars including Katherine Jenkins. It was Tom's first performance in Ponty since 1964, and it made for a memorable event.

In December 2005, as part of the Queen's New Year's Honours, Tom Jones became Sir Tom after receiving a knighthood.

Posting on his official website, tomjones.com, Sir Tom thanked fans for their support over the years. The message read: "What a great way to start the New Year!

"For the last 40 years I've travelled the world singing and entertaining, bringing a bit of Wales and Great Britain to my friends, colleagues and audiences. I wear my nationality on my sleeve and I'm proud of it! One of my passions is history and often I engage anyone who is willing in lively historical discussions and debates on British topics and what it means to be British.

"For me, to accept a Knighthood is a great and humbling honour, and I know my family - and hope my friends and fans - will share in my gratitude and excitement.

"I'd also like to thank everyone who has supported this honour, and I know many of you have stood by me for years and appreciated any contribution I might have made over time, either musically or personally. I am full of gratitude for your loyalty and support."

In 1967, Frank Sinatra told Tom Jones that the Welshman's voice would go if he didn't change the way he sang. Tom reportedly laughed and said: "But what other way is there? I'll be around until the green, green grass is turned into a car park". Amen to that.

Sir Tom's most recent album was released in November 2008, entitled 24 Hours, the first record in which he's had a direct song-writing input. It was produced largely by drum'n'bass stalwarts Future Cut.

"It's all very well just singing songs," says Jones, "but for this record I really wanted to get properly personal. I've been getting reflective recently, looking over my journey through life, and I wanted to get that down on song. This time I wanted to make something that was all about me, my stories, my life. In other words, you listen to this album and you get the real me."


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