Sir Tom Jones' wife of 59 years, Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, died on Sunday morning after a short but fierce battle with cancer, it has been confirmed. Her husband and loved ones were by her side as she peacefully passed away at the Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
Sir Tom and Linda, both from Pontypridd, fell in love and married at the age of 16. They had one son together, Mark, 59, who is also Sir Tom's manager. In recent years, Linda suffered a number of health setbacks, including emphysema, cancer and depression, and became increasingly reclusive to the point she was housebound in their LA home. But she remained the love of Tom's life.
Sir Tom Jones' wife of 59 years has passed away
In October last year, the 75-year-old singer opened up about his relationship with his wife following the release of his autobiography, in which he admitted to having dalliances with other women over the years.
"[The affairs were] never discussed, I was never put on the spot," Sir Tom told Jonathan Ross. "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."
The couple tied the knot when they were 16
Their unconventional living arrangements and marriage often caused controversy, but it never seems to bother Tom. Speaking about the matter he said: "You can't worry about it because if you do, you'll be worrying all the time because they'll twist it anyway. I'm chilled about most things."
The star also spoke about how his wife inspires him. Discussing his single Take My Love, he sweetly said: "It reminds me of the time when my wife and myself when we were teenagers, we used to go dancing a lit in the dance halls in South Wales so that's the sort of stuff we would jive to and we still have a jive now.
Tom and Linda had one child together, son Mark
"A lot of the songs that I do, the love songs that I do, of course it's Linda there and yes, she is the one," he added.
Sir Tom became emotional as he revealed that his wife has recently been quite ill. "I don't want to go on about it but she wasn't well a while ago and she got close to... we didn’t know whether she was going to make it or not and I said to Mark [my son] I said, 'If your mother doesn't make it, I don't know whether I can sing' because a lot of the songs that I do, I think of her when I do it so it would be hard if she wasn't there to be able to sing."