Tom Jones: 73 and still having fun singing

Tom Jones: 73 and still having fun singing

He was a coal miner's son from Pontypridd who became a Welsh prince of Bel Air but even now, after a 50-year career spanning multiple musical genres and a permanent place in pop music history, Tom Jones - international singing star and owner of that unmistakable voice - barely misses a beat.

Despite dozens of hits and well over 100 million records sold, Jones - a California resident for the past 40 years - still has a touch of the small-town boy from Wales about him. Speaking over the phone from Los Angeles recently, Jones' Welsh roots were clearly discernible, as was an undisguised enthusiasm for his job.

At 73, he still loves singing, thanks to a voice that hasn't diminished with age and a repertoire that moves with the musical times while speaking to different generations.

And that's good news for Singapore fans because Jones will be in town next month to perform as part of the festivities surrounding this year's Formula 1 race.

He was due to perform here in 2010 but had to cancel when his vocal chords were damaged after an attack of acid reflux.

Jones rose to fame in an era when some of the biggest names in the business were at their peak. Perhaps not surprisingly, he rates 1965 - his first full year as a solo artiste - as one that holds some of his most cherished memories.

"That first year I met everybody in showbiz; it was incredible," says Jones with fan-like delight. "It's Not Unusual (his first big hit) came out in January 1965 and I was invited to all the British TV shows - I met The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, then I went to the US and did The Ed Sullivan Show, and later I met Elvis and Sinatra."

That same year he recorded the memorable theme song for the James Bond movie Thunderball.

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