Wales

Sir Tom Jones collects lifetime award

Sir Tom picks up his award
Image caption Sir Tom's recent album Praise & Blame was critically acclaimed

Sir Tom Jones has collected an award for his outstanding contribution to music at a charity event.

He follows Sir Elton John and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber in receiving the Music Industry Trusts' Award.

Sir Tom, 70, has notched up dozens of hits since making his chart debut in 1964 with It's Not Unusual.

About 1,000 guests attended the event on Monday evening in aid of Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Other past recipients have included Beatles producer Sir George Martin, James Bond composer John Barry and Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records.

Sir George, along with comedian Rob Brydon and singer Michael Ball, was among the guests.

Sir Tom was presented with his award by film director Tim Burton. The singer appeared in the film-maker's 1996 movie Mars Attacks!

During the evening Burton and his actress partner Helena Bonham Carter Burton took each other on in a bidding war - to get their hands on one of Sir Tom Jones's rings.

The event was also raising cash for charity with an auction, which included one of the singer's 18-carat yellow gold rings with 19 diamonds.

Burton won the bidding after pledging £10,000 for the trinket.

A statue of John Lennon and Yoko Ono donated by singer Kate Bush fetched £7,500.

Meanwhile as part of the celebrations Sir Tom sang with fellow Welsh stars Cerys Matthews - with whom he duetted on chart hit Baby It's Cold Outside - and Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones.

When the award was announced in June, David Munns, chairman of the award committee, said: "Tom Jones is one of those rare beings, a timeless entertainer, a great guy who clearly loves what he does and whose talent appeals to successive generations."

Sir Tom said: "2010 is shaping up to be a very memorable year for me.

"I'm delighted to be honoured with the Music Industry Trusts' Award and to join the roll-call of some great past honourees, such as George and Ahmet."

New direction

Sir Tom's recent gospel and blues-tinged album, Praise & Blame, was acclaimed by critics after its release in July.

The Pontypridd-born singer enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in the 1960s, following his debut single with hits such as What's New Pussycat and the theme tune to the Bond movie Thunderball.

After breaking through in the USA, where he enjoyed a friendship with Elvis Presley, Sir Tom became a regular fixture onstage in Las Vegas.

In 1974 he moved to live in Los Angeles, but gradually faded out of the limelight.

When his son Mark became his manager, Sir Tom revamped his image and had a brief resurgence in 1988 with his cover of Prince's Kiss with The Art of Noise.

But it was another 10 years before he had a huge hit with his Reload album in 1999.

The chart-topping LP saw him reach a new generation of fans, working with younger artists including Stereophonics, Nina Persson of The Cardigans and Cerys Matthews.

Since then his career has gone from strength to strength and in December 2005 he was knighted in the Queen's New Year's Honours.

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