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Sir Tom Jones honoured at charity event

BBC Wales Music

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Sir Tom Jones has received the prestigious annual Music Industry Trust Award for his outstanding contribution to music.

The singer, 70, was presented with the award by film director Tim Burton, in front of an audience of 1,100 which included Sir George Martin, Michael Ball and Rob Brydon. Video tributes by Priscilla Presley, Paul Anka, Don Black and Ethan Jones were also screened at the charity dinner, now in its 19th year, at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Tim Burton said of Sir Tom: "He's great. He's just the kind of person you like being around and he's just got that energy that is, like I said, there's not many people I've met in my life who are, you just feel that way, you know and so he's really a special person...I tried to learn something from it that way but I'm not as cool as he is."

Following a brief speech, Sir Tom took to the stage to perform hits including What's New Pussycat and It's Not Unusual, accompanied by fellow Welsh musicians Cerys Matthews and Kelly Jones.

Previous recipients of the Music Industry Trust Award include Sir Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Kylie Minogue and John Barry. The award has raised £4m to date for its two charities, Nordoff Robbins and the Brit Trust.

Welsh comedian Rob Brydon was among those paying tribute to Sir Tom, saying: "In Wales he's like a deity you know. I think everybody in Wales is just very proud of him, you know, for the way he has put the country on the map and I think a lot of Welsh men live vicariously through him. They kind of read about him and they see him here and there in the world living this kind of Austin Powers life and they go: 'Oh yeah, go on Tom.'"

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