Tom Jones

Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones OBE was born 7th June 1940, So far Jones has had thirty-six Top 40 hits in the United Kingdom and nineteen in the United States; some of his notable songs include “It’s Not Unusual“, “What’s New Pussycat“, “Delilah”, “Green, Green Grass of Home”, “She’s a Lady” and “Kiss” (Which was originally recorded by Prince, Who also celebrates his birthday on 7th June). Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, soul and gospel – and sold over 100 million records. Having been awarded an OBE in 1999, Jones was dubbed a knight bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music” in 2006. Jones has received numerous other awards throughout his career, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 2000, and an MTV Video Music Award.

Tom Jones was born in Treforest, Pontypridd in South Wales. Jones began singing at an early age: he would regularly sing at family gatherings, weddings and in his school choir. Jones did not like school or sports but gained confidence through his singing talent. His’ bluesy singing style developed out of the sound of American soul music and early influences included blues and R&B singers Little Richard, Solomon Burke, Jackie Wilson and Brook Benton as well as the music of Jerry Lee Lewis. He became the frontman for Tommy Scott and the Senators, a Welsh beat group, in 1963. They soon gained a local following and reputation in South Wales. In 1964 the group recorded several solo tracks with producer Joe Meek, who took them to various labels, but they had little success.The group continued to play gigs at dance halls and working men’s clubs in South Wales. Jones was spotted by Gordon Mills, a London-based manager originally from South Wales.

Mills became Jones’ manager and took the young singer to London, and also renamed him Tom Jones.Eventually Mills got Jones a recording contract with Decca. His first single, “Chills and Fever”, was released in late 1964. It didn’t chart, but the follow-up, “It’s Not Unusual” became an international hit after offshore pirate radio station Radio Caroline promoted it. The following year would be the most prominent of Jones’s career. In early 1965 “It’s Not Unusual” reached number one in the United Kingdom and the top ten in the United States. During 1965 Mills secured a number of movie themes for Jones to record including the themes for the film What’s New Pussycat? (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David) and for the James Bond film Thunderball. Jones was also awarded the Grammy Award for Best New Artist for 1965. In 1967 Jones performed in Las Vegas for the first time, at the Flamingo. His performances and style of dress (increasingly featuring his open, half-unbuttoned shirts and tight trousers) became part of his stage act. He soon chose to record less, instead concentrating on his lucrative club performances. At Caesars Palace his shows were a knicker-hurling frenzy of sexually charged adulation and good-time entertainment.

In the 1970s Jones had a number of hit singles, including “She’s A Lady”, “Till”, “The Young New Mexican Puppeteer”, and “Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow”. In 1987, Tom Jones re-entered the singles chart with “A Boy From Nowhere”. The following year he covered Prince’s “Kiss” with The Art of Noise. In 1989 Jones received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and In 1992 he made his first appearance at the Glastonbury Festival. in 1993 Jones released the album The Lead And How To Swing It and In 1997, Jones did the soundtrack for the comedy film The Full Monty, recording “You Can Leave Your Hat On”. In 1999 Jones released the album Reload, a collection of cover duets with artists such as The Cardigans, Natalie Imbruglia, Cerys Matthews, Van Morrison, Mousse T, Portishead, Stereophonics, and Robbie Williams. In 2002 Jones released the album Mr. Jones, Jones also received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2003. The following year, he teamed up with pianist Jools Holland and released a roots rock ‘n’ roll album entitled Tom Jones & Jools Holland.

Jones, who was awarded an OBE in 1999, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 at Buckingham Palace for his services to music. and was among the invited artists who performed at Wembley Stadium at the Concert for Diana on July 1st 2007. In 2008 he released the album 24 Hours. Jones, who was still performing over 200 dates a year as he approached his 70th birthday, set out on a world tour to promote the album. In 2008 also Tom Jones was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. On 16 November 2008 and in March 2009 Jones went to the top of the UK Music Charts for the third time in his career thanks to a cover of “Islands in the Stream”, sung with Ruth Jones, Rob Brydon and Robin Gibb, who co-wrote the original with his brothers Barry and Maurice. The song, inspired by BBC’s hit sitcom Gavin and Stacey, was released in aid of Comic Relief and reached No. 1.

Jones released the album Praise & Blame on 26 July 2010 Which included covers of songs by Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker and Billy Joe Shaver, and features guest musicians as Booker T. On 11 September 2010 Jones performed for an audience of 50,000 at the Help for Heroes charity concert at Twickenham Stadium and released a single on 19 March 2012, written with former White Stripes frontman Jack White, called Evil. In May 2012 Jones released the album Spirit in the Room on Island Records/Universal Records. The track listing included covers of songs by Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and Richard and Linda Thompson, Blind Willie Johnson, Tom Waits and The Low Anthem. On 4 June 2012, Jones performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, singing “Delilah” and “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (although I don’t think anyone threw their knickers at him).

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