Tom Jones opens up about wife's death
Sir Tom Jones admits recovering from the death of his wife is the "hardest thing" he's ever done.
The 75-year-old singer was left devastated when Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, who was known as Linda, lost a short battle with cancer in April and he was close to tears as he discussed how he cancelled a string of concerts in order to be by her side during her last days.
He said: "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.
"I was in the Philippines, that was when I got the call, that it was terminal. I had to stop. So I flew back to Los Angeles and she had a week left, in the hospital."
The couple married when they were just 16 and had son Mark, now 59, together and despite the 'It's Not Unusual' hitmaker's womaniser reputation, he insists Linda was the "most important thing" in his life.
In conversation with GQ's Dylan Jones at the Hay Festival in Wales, he said: "[I knew] she'd always been very important to me, always.
"Now I realise that she might have been the most important thing in my life. I realise even more now, how important she was to me."
Despite rumours of a string of affairs, Tom insisted his marriage was never in jeopardy.
He wept as he said: "No. Never. Never crossed my mind; it didn't cross her mind. It was solid. We had a solid marriage that nothing could shake and we both felt that.
"I felt very lucky to have fallen in love at an early age. We were teenagers. We fell in love, not just in lust. A lot of teenagers fall in lust and then it doesn't last. But we knew this thing was forever, for as long as we would be alive. That's how strong the marriage was."
The devastated singer was unsure he'd be able to keep singing following the tragedy, but he insists he will be going ahead with a planned European tour following some final advice from Linda.
He said: "I have to do it. When Linda passed away it hit me so hard I didn't know whether I could or not, I really didn't. I said, 'Linda I don't know what I'm going to do.' She could see I was devastated, and I was. She said 'Don't worry, you'll be alright. Don't worry about it. Just go forward'."