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Special Guest: The Voice UK's Into The Ark
Tom Jones' 50-year career has remarkably gone from strength
to strength. Along with sustaining his popularity as a live performer and
recording artist for five decades, he has garnered - at the age of 77 - the
best reviews of his career for his most recent albums, Long Lost Suitcase,
Spirit In The Room and Praise & Blame (Island/Universal). Critics across
the world are unanimous in their approval and admiration for both the recorded
work and the performance of it in concert.
Thomas Jones Woodward was born in Pontypridd, South Wales,
Great Britain on June 7, 1940 to a father who worked the coal mines of the
Rhondda Valley. After quitting school at 15, working a variety of manual jobs,
singing in the clubs at night and marrying at 17, Jones went on to sign with Decca
Records in London.
Jones has a fundamental interest in a wide range of music.
Although he is well known for hits including It's Not Unusual, Kiss, Delilah,
What's New Pussycat, I'll Never Fall In Love Again and If I Only Knew, he is
first and foremost an artist with a true rhythm and blues soul. He has remained
a vital recording artist, with his 1999 album Reload the biggest selling (5m)
of his then 35-yearcareer. Tom was a key player in Martin Scorsese's Red White
& Blues series, and in 2004 released an album of roots rock n roll with
Jools Holland. In 2008, 24 Hours, was a critical career highlight with many of
the self-penned tracks being an insightful and evocative reflection of his spirited
and rich life.
2010 saw a change of direction with Tom releasing his 39th
studio album, Praise & Blame. The Praise & Blame mantra was 'get back
to basics', and the album was recorded as wholly live performances at Peter
Gabriel's studio in Bath, England, produced by Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan
Adams, Ray La Montagne, Laura Marling, Paolo Nutini). The result witnessed a
singer at the top of his game, with the songs themselves coaxing exhilarating
performances out of Tom and his band.
Following the success of Praise & Blame, in May 2012 Tom
released 'Spirit In The Room'. Paired once again with producer/guitarist Ethan
Johns at Bath's Real World Studios, 'Spirit In The Room', like it's
predecessor, allows an unvarnished Tom to bring a voice to songs as only he
can. Accompanied by Ethan Johns throughout, the album includes gems from a
diverse choice of writers - Richard Thompson, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and
Paul McCartney amongst others. 'Spirit In The Room' is simple, raw and soulful.
Tom was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 2006, an honor
he deeply cherishes. An honor he was able to celebrate once again in 2012 when
he performed at the Queens Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace. Other
highlights of his long career include receiving a BRIT Awards for Best Male and
Outstanding Contribution to Music, a Silver Clef Award and a Silver Clef Award for
Lifetime Achievement, the Hit maker Award from the [US] Songwriters Hall of
Fame, GQ Man Of The Year, and the prestigious [UK] Music Industry Trust Award.
He has been animated as himself in The Simpsons, Duck Dodgers, The Emperors New
Groove; other film roles include Tim Burton's Mars Attacks. In 2012 he landed
his first acting role not playing himself, alongside Brenda Blethynand Alison
Steadman, in "Playhouse Presents: King of The Teds" for Sky Arts.
In and amongst a very successful touring year in 2014, Tom
had the thrill of performing at the MCG in Melbourne for the AFL Grand Final,
the premier sporting event in Australia, alongside Ed Sheeran. Later in the
year, he had the honor of appearing at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert,
sharing the bill with Florence + The Machine, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Brian
Wilson and others. And over in the UK, he was pleased to close the first Annual
BBC Music Awards, helping to salute a fantastic year of music across the BBC by
performing alongside Paloma Faith, a chorus of hundreds and the BBC Concert
In 2015, Sir Tom continued his role as Coach on the 4th
series of The Voice UK, working alongside Will.i.am, Rita Ora and Ricky Wilson.
In February of that year, a very special invitation was received to perform at
the 25th Anniversary of MusiCares Person Of The Year tribute honoring Bob
Dylan, alongside musical luminaries Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Jack White, Bonnie
Raitt, Willie Nelson and many more. The following evening he sang a duet with
Jessie J at the57th Annual Grammy Awards.
After a busy few months touring, Sir Tom went into the
latter part of 2015 with 2 very special releases, his first ever autobiography
entitled Over The Top And Back (Penguin Books), and the book's companion
soundtrack entitled Long Lost Suitcase (Virgin EMI/Caroline) which he actively promoted
internationally. He also engaged in a major fund-raising effort for the BBC's
charity Children In Need, headlining a special 2-hour television event with his
friends in both music and comedy.
Sir Tom is indeed a living legend, one of the few musical
artists whose profession began at the dawn of modern popular music who
continues to have a vital recording and performing career to this day. His
irresistible show traverses musical eras and genres, cuts across class divides
and appeals to young and old, male and female, mainstream and cutting edge. Sir
Tom has always been about the power of the song, the power of the voice.