Jones was born Thomas Jones Woodward in Pontypridd, Wales. He started singing at an early age, but had a wife and son by the age of 17.
At 23, he began billing himself as Tommy Scott and singing with the Senators. He went solo the following year and, after changing his name to Tom Jones, with the help of singer-turned-manager Gordon Mills, he won a contract with Decca.
Jones had his first hit in 1965 with ‘It's Not Unusual’. His flamboyance and knock-‘em-dead sex appeal helped make him a major star, with four more hits that year.
An avalanche of gold singles and albums were soon to follow, including ‘Delilah’, ‘Help Yourself’, ‘Love Me Tonight’, and Tom Jones in Las Vegas’. For much of the late 1960s, several of his LPs were in the Top ten Charts in both Europe and the United States.
Continuing into the 1970s gold hits came with ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’, ‘She's A Lady’ and ‘Tom Jones Live at Caesars Palace’. By the end of 1970 Tom had sold over thirty million discs, in all categories around the world.
With this tremendous recording success, Tom was able to draw capacity audiences in concert halls and arenas worldwide. His skills as a singer developed sharply; his energy, openness and spontaneity appealed to critics and audiences alike.
In 1969, he starred in his own television variety show, ‘This Is Tom Jones’. It was alternately filmed in London and Hollywood. After the show ended in 1971, he largely left recording, in favour of a career as a Las Vegas nightclub singer. He began his sporadic film career in the early 1970s.
In the early 1980s, Jones began recording again and touring, allowing him to bring his unique style of music and energy to a new band of fans that have since helped him take his tally of records sold since 1965 to more than 100 million. Singles including ‘I’ll Be Here Where The Heart Is’, ‘A Boy from Nowhere’, which climbed to number two in UK charts in 1987, and ‘I Was Born to Be Me’ followed as his music sailed through to the 1990s.
During this period, Jones also capitalised on audiovisual tools, rolling out DVDs and videos including ‘Tom Jones Born To Be Me’ in 1987, ‘Tom Jones Live at this Moment in 1989’, as well as 1996 and 1999’s ‘Tom Jones One Night Only...,’ and ‘An Audience with Tom Jones’ respectively.
A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989, coupled with film and television appearances in the likes of ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Mars Attacks!’ and ‘The Emperor's New Groove’, an animation released in 2000, helped maintain the Welsh musician’s shining star. Jones sailed into the new millennium by reaching number three in the UK singles chart with ‘Sex Bomb’ featuring Mousse T in 2000 and achieved a similar feat with ‘Praise & Blame’, which debuted at number two on the UK album chart in July 2010.
He continues to occasionally appear in feature films and on television and lives with his wife of 38 years, Melinda, in their homes in Bel Air, California and South Wales. His son Mark, and daughter-in-law Donna, have given him a grandson, Alexander John, born in 1983, and a granddaughter Emma Violet, born in 1987.
He doesn't seem to be slowing down at 70 and recently joined forces with piano supremo, Jools Holland, to record and tour an album of early Rock n Roll classics.