Tom Jones is one of the living legends of music. With hit songs like “It’s Not Unusual,” “She’s a Lady” and “What’s New Pussycat?,” the singer has been delighting audiences for decades.
But his most recent performance is leaving people in tears, after Jones dedicated the song to his late wife of 59 years.
Tom Jones, now 83, is a mentor on the hit singing competition show The Voice in the UK. But on Saturday’s episode, it wasn’t the contestants, but Jones himself, who took the spotlight with a song.
“This song is very important to me,” Jones introduced. “I try to pick songs that mean a lot to me. And this song is trying to tell you that people that you love, sometimes they need to be backed up. You need to give them strength and encouragement.”
From his chair, he then gave a beautiful performance of his song “I Won’t Crumble With You If You Fall.”
The emotional performance was enough to make his fellow judges tear up, but it was made even more bittersweet after Jones explained the song’s inspiration: it was a tribute to his wife, Melinda Trenchard, who died of cancer in 2016.
“My wife, you know, she was dying of lung cancer, so I said, you know, I was always able to fix stuff, to do things if she needed me I was always there,” Jones explained.
‘”She said, ‘Don’t crumble with me, don’t fall now, you’ve done everything you can, you must carry on and do what you do.’ So I put the song, when I heard it, it was like it was written for this situation. It’s a lovely song.”
The other judges — Anne-Marie, Olly Murs and will.i.am — are all visibly emotional. Anne-Marie even had to leave the set because she was in tears.
“I had to walk off, not because it was bad, [but] because it was so emotional,” she told Express. “I think this is like a testament to him and why he has been able to stay around [for] so long because he feels every word he says and every song he releases he means it.”
Tom Jones and his wife Melinda Trenchard met at a young age.
“I remember her playing marbles and I thought, ‘’My God, what great legs she’s got,’” Jones recalled meeting Melinda in a Radio 2 documentary.
“We started dancing together when we were 15. She would look great. She was the best-looking girl around there and we got together. It was magic.”
Singer Tom Jones and his wife Melinda (Linda). (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
The high school sweethearts got married when they were just 16, and had a son shortly after. They remained married for the next 59 years.
While that’s a remarkably long time for a celebrity marriage, it was far from a storybook romance. Jones, a world-famous sex symbol at the height of his career, was known for having many extramarital affairs, and said he once slept with 250 women a year.
Despite this, the couple had an agreement, and Melinda stayed faithful to him for decades, despite his infidelity.
“[The affairs were] never discussed, I was never put on the spot,” Jones said in an interview on The Jonathan Ross Show. “Linda is a wonderful person, and she would never put me on the spot. She loves being married to me, and I love being married to her.”
Welsh singing star Tom Jones pictured with his wife Linda after arriving from France, 8th April 1965. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
“I feel alive when [Tom] comes through the door, whatever the time of day or night is,” Melinda reportedly said of her husband in a rare interview.
Though their marriage apparently had its ups and downs, there’s no denying that after nearly 60 years of marriage, they were an extremely important part of each other’s lives.
In 2016, Melinda died after a “short but fierce” battle with lung cancer. Jones, now a widower, was left heartbroken and didn’t know if he could go on singing.
“When my wife passed away, I didn’t think I could sing,” Sir Tom explained. “When you’re emotional, you can’t sing, your voice closes up.
“There are certain songs I wouldn’t do. But you have to try and get things in the right perspective. Feeling emotional; use it to your advantage and put it into the song,” he added. “It took me a while. Took me a few months to try and see if I could sing. I got some of my musicians around and tried a few songs. But it was very emotional.”
Six years after his wife’s death, Tom Jones is still going strong, and has clearly put his heartbreak and grief into his music. Over the years, however, he has been dealing with some health problems.
In 2018, a bacterial infection forced the legendary singer to cancel two shows. Jones was admitted to the hospital but was ”extremely and sorry” that he couldn’t perform for a while.
Right now, Jones is struggling to walk and awaits an operation. He has a bad hip and is currently walking with a stick, according to the Express. During his recent tour in the U.K., he has been forced to make some adjustments regarding his performance on stage.
“I can do about four songs… and I can walk on [stage],” Sir Tom said and added:
“I have an inversion table in my dressing room, so you go upside down for a couple of minutes.
“You go on that, and you think, ‘This is great’ because you walk, and it hasn’t settled down yet.
“So, I can do like four songs like that, and then it starts to hurt.”
Watching his performance on The Voice, there’s no denying his talent, or the deep love he had for his late wife.