Superstar singer Sir Tom Jones will celebrate his 74th birthday by kicking off his UK and European tour in Chesterfield.
It’s not unusual for a man dubbed Jones the Voice to be singing to thousands of fans on his special day.
He said: “I’m usually performing on my birthday which for me, is the best way to celebrate! Otherwise I’d be spending it with family and friends, having a nice meal and most likely enjoying some great music.”
Sir Tom should be raring to go when he steps out onto the stage at the Proact Stadium on Saturday night, having had a fortnight’s relaxation before rehearsals for the show which began this week.
His three-month summer tour would be punishing for a man half his age but Sir Tom has preparation down to a fine art. He said: “I walk a lot and work out. It’s also important to get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated.”
Ahead of his break, Sir Tom sang at ten venues across America. He said: “On the final date of the tour I joined Morrissey at his show in LA and performed a quick hour set to his fans. I didn’t know how I’d go down with Morrissey fans but it was very successful and they loved it!”
Welsh-born Sir Tom and his wife Melinda have lived in Los Angeles since the 1970s. He said: “I travel all the time, so I do get to see a lot of different places around the globe. LA is a good place to relax, with fine weather and convenience.
“I miss the people in England - I have a lot of family and friends here.”
Sir Tom’s coaching commitment to telly talent show The Voice means regular trips back to the UK.
He said: “The Voice has been great, not only to see how much talent there is out there, but to be able to advise that talent and help them get out there. I remember how much I wanted it back when I was starting out, but there wasn’t this level of platform to get heard. If you can use it to your advantage and put in the work then it’s a fantastic opportunity.”
It’s nearly half a century since Sir Tom’s first number one hit It’s Not Unusual propelled him to fame in England and America. Since then he’s clocked up 35 top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the United States and his success is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at next month’s Silver Clef awards in London.
He was knighted by the Queen in 2006 for his services to music. “My knighthood was a very proud moment,” he said. “It’s something that I would never have imagined and I know my parents would have been extremely proud.”
Growing up in Pontypridd, Sir Tom reckoned he was destined to be a singer. He said: “There weren’t a lot of options for jobs back then and I wasn’t particularly skilled in anything but singing - it was my one and only choice.”
He described his career path as: “An unpredictable and exciting journey that is continually challenging - it’s wonderful to be able to say that I’m still doing it.
“It means that I get to wake up every day and do what I enjoy. I am truly blessed for that.”
n Sir Tom Jones will be joined by Toploader and Andrew Cole at his concert at the Proact Stadium on Saturday.