Legendary Welsh singer and performer Sir Tom Jones continues to sustain his popularity around the world, captivating audiences with his timeless discography of hit songs and enduring talent and charisma. With a remarkable career spanning over six decades, Jones is widely considered to be one of the greatest singers and recording artists of all time, selling over 100 million records and continuing as an esteemed and influential figure in the music industry.
At the age of 82, Jones has received some of the best reviews of his career for his most recent Ethan Johns-produced albums “Surrounded By Time”, "Long Lost Suitcase," "Spirit In The Room," and "Praise & Blame." Critics have praised both the recorded material and Jones' performances, highlighting his undeniable and unique talent in both the studio and on stage.
Born in the mining town of Pontypridd, South Wales, Jones quit school at an early age, working various odd jobs before getting his start as a member of a local band called The Senators, later forming his own group, Tom Jones and the Squires, gigging in clubs and pubs around the local area.
In the early 1960s, he signed with Decca Records in London, kickstarting a successful and diverse career and achieving international fame with his powerful voice and dynamic stage presence. He had a string of hit songs including "It's Not Unusual," "What's New Pussycat?" "Delilah," and "Green, Green Grass of Home" which sat alongside his hugely popular 1969-1971 cross-continental TV show, "This is Tom Jones". Jones has always had a fundamental interest in a wide range of music, leading him to work with dozens of iconic collaborators over the years, ranging from Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin to Van Morrison, Dolly Parton and Ed Sheeran, just some amongst many. Although he is well known for his hits, he is first and foremost a diverse artist with a true rhythm and blues soul.
Jones's career has been filled with numerous honors and accolades, including a deeply cherished knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2006, multiple BRIT Awards, a Silver Clef Award, the prestigious Music Industry Trusts Award and a Hitmaker Award from the US Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has also acted in films such as Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks," and "Playhouse Presents: King of The Teds" for Sky Arts. Along with his yearly touring, Jones has continued to be active in the industry as a longstanding coach on The Voice UK and being a valued contributor at a variety of events and broadcasts such as the 25th Anniversary of MusiCares (honouring Bob Dylan) and the 57th Grammy Awards as well as many others for charitable causes. His recent autobiography "Over The Top And Back" was a rollicking best-seller, and his 2021 album release “Surrounded By Time” made him the oldest male to claim a Number 1 spot on the UK Official Albums Chart with an album of new material, overtaking Bob Dylan.
Sir Tom has indeed cemented his place in music history as one of the most successful artists of all time, traversing musical eras and genres, cutting across class divides, and appealing to all genders and ages, mainstream and cutting edge. Sir Tom has always been about the power of the song, and the power of the voice, qualities that have made him a true legend in the music zeitgeist. Despite the passage of time, Sir Tom Jones continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the music world, and his legacy will undoubtedly live on for generations to come.Photo Credit: Rick Guest