‘What have I become?’ Tom Jones worries his legacy will just be dodgy impersonations

Tom Jones recalls meeting his wife

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Sir Tom Jones, 81, says he was prompted to change his legacy due to a fear he would only be remembered for impersonations of the hair-dyed heartthrob portrayed in his younger years.

The singer told the i newspaper: “You don’t realise what’s happened to you over the years, what image gets formed.

“Then all of a sudden, I’m thinking my God, what have I become?

“When I’d see someone doing an impression of me, I’d think, Jesus, I mean – is that it?

“So you do think about these things as you get older. You don’t want to leave this world just with that.”

This prompted a style shift around a decade ago.

His latest album, Surrounded By Time, personifies this change and has been praised as one of Tom’s most emotional and heartfelt albums yet.

The album was Tom’s first number one since he released Reload in 1999, making him the oldest male ever to earn a number one album in the UK.

Now, Surrounded By Time has been re-released as an extended Hourglass Edition with two new songs and four live recordings at Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Sir Tom previously revealed it was first written in memory of his late wife, Linda Jones.

He said, according to HMV: “I wanted to do an album. My wife died five years ago and that knocked me off-kilter.

“She said during the last days of her life: ‘You must not fall with me’.

“That’s why the opening track on the album is I Won’t Crumble. She told me, ‘You’ve got to keep going, you’ve got to keep doing what you’re doing.’ But I didn’t know if I could.

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“I didn’t know if I could sing. When you get too emotional, your voice doesn’t work.

“I didn’t know if I could handle it, nothing so devastating has happened to me before, I had no way of knowing how it would affect me. It completely knocked me off balance.”

Tom has also said he has no desire to retire anytime soon and wants to continue performing for as long as possible.

Speaking on BBC Radio 2 recently, he said: “I want to continue to do it for as long as possible. That’s the most fun I get and the most gratifying thing is when I sing.”

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