Tom Jones is a musician who has been producing hit songs since the 1960s. He’s now 80 years old, yet his career continues to maintain its extraordinary staying power.
It’s incredible to think about this, but the man they rightly call Tiger has now released more than 40 albums and has been in the music business for more than half a century. Jones has won more awards than anyone can count, and he’s been a beloved judge on UK’s The Voice for a long time as well.
Not only this but Jones was also married to the same woman for nearly 50 years. Tom and his wife Melinda — also known as Lady Linda — have endured everything together: vicious rumors, the rigors of life on tour, and finally, a ghastly cancer diagnosis. And though Jones’ beloved wife passed away in 2016, his love for her endures.
How in the world does he do it? How does Tom Jones have such phenomenal longevity, not only in his career and his love life, but in life in general?
Tom Jones’ Secret
When he sings, Tom Jones has always sounded like an old-time, blues-influenced rock n’ roller who would have found an easy home in America. And yet, during interviews, his Welsh accent emerges and ties him to the country of his birth.
Jones has had a long, hard road to travel throughout his life, and the fact that after so much time, he still performs in front of crowds is a testament to his marvelous talent and his indefatigable energy.
He was born Thomas John Woodward Jr. on June 7, 1940, in the small town of Treforest, Pontypridd, South Wales. And when he was only 12, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and remained bedridden for about two years, until he finally recovered.
Even at this tender young age, Jones appeared to be in love. While laying at home, he would notice Linda, the girl who would later become his wife, passing by the window with other children. All he could think about was recovering so that he could be with her. Even at this early point in his life, his love for Linda sustained him through his struggles.
Amazingly, when he recovered, he and Linda started dating and eventually married. All the while, Jones was working on improving his singing abilities. By the time he reached his 20s, he was singing on stage and performing with a band.
As he was honing his skills, though, his love for Linda burned passionately. When the two were each only 17 years old, Linda became pregnant, and the two married in 1957. Being parents at such a young age put the couple through difficulties, but they persevered and found joy in parenthood.
Speaking with the BBC many years later, Jones said, “I think [becoming a teen father] gave me more drive. I think if I had been a single teenager, maybe I wouldn’t have taken life quite as seriously as I did.”
You may be noticing a pattern: What has always driven Tom Jones is love. This is what took him from working construction jobs to eventually becoming an internationally acclaimed singer who got to meet and work with the likes of Elvis Presley and even star in countless movies.
Love is a powerful thing. Surely, Tom Jones’ life and longevity are an unforgettable testament to that fact.