Born: 7 June 1940
Birthplace: Pontypridd, Wales
Best known as: Sexy Welsh singer of "It's Not Unusual"
Name at birth: Thomas Jones Woodward
Tom Jones's 1965 single "It's Not Unusual" shot to #1 and made him a player in the swinging music scene of the 1960s. The same year he scored hits with the movie themes to What's New, Pussycat? and the James Bond film Thunderball. Jones was a pure power singer, with a roguish bare-chested appeal that was a particular hit with female fans. His act was ready-made for Las Vegas (where he became friends with Elvis Presley), and from 1969-71 he had his own TV show, This is Tom Jones, aired both in the U.K. and America. Jones's star faded a bit in the 1970s, but in 1988 he reinvented himself, joining the cutting-edge band Art of Noise to remake the Prince hit "Kiss" into a hit of his own. Since then he has enjoyed a new round of success, thanks to nostalgic fans and a new generation of retrophiles.
Extra credit: Jones shares a name with the rascally title character of the 1749 Henry Fielding novel Tom Jones... Jones performed as Tommy Scott early in his career, then returned to his own birth name minus the 'Woodward'... Jones married in 1957, when he was 16 years old; he and his wife had one son, born later that year, and remained married into the 21st century... Jones has a sizable role in Tim Burton's comedy Mars Attacks! (1996, starring Jack Nicholson).
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