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Tom Jones became one of the most popular vocalists to emerge from the British Invasion. Since the mid-'60s, Tom Jones has sung nearly every form of popular music - pop, rock, show tunes, country, dance, and techno, he's sung it all. Tom Jones' actual style - a full-throated, robust baritone that had little regard for nuance and subtlety - never changed, he just sang over different backing tracks. On stage, Tom Jones played up his sexual appeal; it didn't matter whether he was in an unbuttoned shirt or a tuxedo, he always radiated a raw sexuality, which earned him a large following of devoted female fans who frequently threw underwear on stage.Tom Jones' following never diminished over the decades; he was able to exploit trends, earning new fans while retaining his core following.
Tom Jones was born Thomas John Woodward, Tom Jones began singing professionally in 1963, performing as Tommy Scott with the Senators, a Welsh beat group. In 1964, he recorded a handful of solo tracks with record producer Joe Meek and shopped them to various record companies to little success. Later in the year, Decca producer Peter Sullivan discovered Tommy Scott performing in a club and directed him to manager Phil Solomon. It was a short-lived partnership and the singer soon moved back to Wales, where he continued to sing in local clubs.
Tome Jones can not go unnoticed! At one of the shows, Tom Jones gained the attention of former Viscounts singer Gordon Mills, who had become an artist manager. Mills signed Scott, renamed him Tom Jones and helped him record his first single for Decca, "Chills and Fever," which was released in late 1964. "Chills and Fever" didn't chart but "It's Not Unusual," released in early 1965, became a number one hit in the U.K. and a Top Ten hit in the U.S. The heavily orchestrated, over-the-top pop arrangements perfectly meshed with Jones' swinging, sexy image, guaranteeing him press coverage, which translated into a series of hits, including "Once Upon a Time," "Little Lonely One," and "With These Hands." During 1965, Mills also secured a number of film themes for Tom Jones to record, including the Top Ten hit "What's New Pussycat?" (June 1965) and "Thunderball" (December 1965).
Tom Jones' popularity began to slip somewhat by the middle of 1966, causing Mills to redesign the singer's image into a more respectable, mature tuxedoed crooner. Jones also began to sing material that appealed to a broad audience, like the country songs "Green, Green Grass of Home" and "Detroit City." The strategy worked, as he returned to the top of the charts in the U.K. and began hitting the Top 40 again in the U.S. For the remainder of the '60s, he scored a consistent string of hits in both Britain and America.
Tom Jones, sexy thing, crosses the pond. At the end of the decade, Tom Jones relocated to America, where he hosted the television variety program, This Is Tom Jones. Running between 1969 and 1971, the show was a success and laid the groundwork for the singer's move to Las Vegas in the early '70s. Once he moved to Vegas, Jones began recording less, choosing to concentrate on his lucrative club performances. After Gordon Mills died in the late '70s, Jones' son, Mark Woodward, became the singer's manager. The change in management prompted Jones to begin recording again. This time, he concentrated on the country market, releasing a series of slick Nashville-styled country-pop albums in the early '80s that earned him a handful of hits.
Tom Jones' next image makeover came in 1988, when he sang Prince's "Kiss" with the electronic dance outfit, the Art of Noise. The single became a Top Ten hit in the U.K. and reached the American Top 40, which led to a successful concert tour and a part in a recording of Dylan Thomas' voice play, Under Milk Wood.
Tom Jones then returned to the club circuit, where he stayed for several years. In 1993, Jones performed at the Glastonbury Festival in England, where Tom Jones won an enthusiastic response from the young crowd. Soon, he was on the comeback trail again, releasing the alternative dance-pop album The Lead and How to Swing It in the fall of 1994; the record was a moderate hit, gaining some play in dance clubs.
Tom Jones has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6608 Hollywood Blvd., for his contribution to the recording industry.
In 2005 the album Together In Concert, was recorded live with John Farnham and his band.
Tom Jones played a massive homecoming concert in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd on May 28, 2005. This concert was 41 years in the making. It was 1964 when Tom Jones last played in Pontypridd and to celebrate his 65th birthday.
Tom Jones has collaborated with Chicane for Stoned in Love, a dance track that was released 24 April 2006. It entered at number eight in the UK charts the following Sunday.
Tom Jones was awarded an OBE in 1999 and a knighthood in the 2006 New Years Honours list for his services to music, and was subsequently knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London on March 29, 2006.
Tom Jones, not a sex bomb?!?!? Although his manager and public relations staff has attempted to change Tom's sex-bomb image and neutralize the knicker-throwing fans, to the delight of his audiences Tom has never felt the need to tone down his behaviour in his shows. Tom Jones has remained highly respected by other singers and continues to attract audiences of all ages.
As of 2006, Tom Jones continues to tour and record. He performs shows at the MGM Grand Las Vegas ten to twelve weeks each year, as well as performing concerts internationally.
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