Sir Tom Jones was overcome with emotion on Sunday as he made his first public appearance since the death of his wife. The Delilah singer attended the Hay Festival to discuss his autobiography Over the Top and Back when talk turned to his wife Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, who passed away following a short cancer battle in April.
Speaking about the grief he has dealt with following his wife's sudden death, Sir Tom told the audience: "It's very difficult, the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. We were married for 59 years, we knew each other since we were kids. It was fast, she had cancer. "
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Sir Tom Jones became visibly moved as he discussed his wife at the Hay Festival
The entertainer added: "I realise even more now, how important she was to me."
Tom's open and emotional talk moved many members of the audience to tears, with one tweeting that there was "not a dry eye in the house". It was the first high profile appearance the performer had made since confirming the sad news that his wife had passed away.
The 75-year-old has been keeping a low profile as he mourns Linda's death, and extended a heartfelt thanks to his fans for their support by posting a message on his Twitter account at the end of April.
Linda passed away in April following a short battle with cancer
"A heartfelt Thank You to all who sent notes of their sympathy and support to me and my family over the last couple of weeks," it read. "So many beautiful and meaningful things were said and reading these genuine and lovely messages has lifted us all. See you soon."
Sir Tom and Linda, both from Pontypridd, fell in love and married at the age of 16, and had one son together, Mark, who is also the singer's manager.
The couple had a complex marriage, with Sir Tom admitting he had been unfaithful on a number of occasions. Furthermore, in recent years, Linda had suffered a number of health setbacks, including cancer and depression, and became increasingly reclusive to the point she was housebound in their LA home. But she remained the love of his life.
In October last year, the singer opened up about how his wife had inspired him during an interview with Jonathan Ross. He said: "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."