Sir Tom Jones admits he never thought he would make it to his 80s after becoming the oldest male singer to earn a UK number one album.
The veteran singer is enjoying something of a renaissance after new album Surrounded By Time debuted at number one on the UK chart in May, selling 14,936 copies in its first week of release.
It is Jones’ first chart-topping album in 22-years, but the Welsh star – who turned 80 last June – says the achievement is outweighed by his surprise at still being around to make music.
Surprise: Sir Tom Jones admits he never thought he would make it to his 80s after becoming the oldest male singer to earn a UK number one album with Surrounded By Time
Appearing on Saturday’s edition of The Jonathan Ross Show, he said: ‘I didn’t think about being alive at this age. 80 years old. Who knows? You think, if I get there maybe, and here I am and here we are.
‘I’ve always wanted to keep recording as long as possible. I want to sing as long as I possibly can. I’ve never really known life without it. I’ve always been singing since I was a kid.’
The singer, who released debut album Along Came Jones in 1965, admits he was stunned after discovering his latest had entered the chart at number one just days after it went on sale to the public.
Old times: The singer released his debut album Along Came Jones in 1965 (pictured during his early years as a performer)
Incredible: The Welsh star – who turned 80 last June – says the achievement is outweighed by his surprise at still being around to make music
He explained: ‘They told me that it’s number one. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled to bits. After all this time.’
Recorded in studios across Wales, Wilshire and Somerset, Surrounded By Time features reworked cover versions of songs treasured by Jones during his decades spanning career.
He said: ‘When you do an album like this, Mark started it off, my son. He said, “The next album should sound different…” then of course we started talking about songs. I’d saved up a bunch of songs I’d had over the years.
Let’s talk: Jones discussed his new album while appearing on Saturday’s edition of The Jonathan Ross Show
It’s quite unusual: The singer has enjoyed a decades spanning career that began in the early 1960s (pictured with the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Variety Show in 1969)
‘For example, I’m Growing Old I’ve had since I was 32. I was thinking about saving it for when I was 102.’
Jones added that he has no plans to slow down and has been encouraged by close friends, family and fans to continue making music for as long as possible.
‘People have always been positive and said don’t retire,’ he said. ‘I’ve said I’m not going to, I won’t. Hopefully at the end of the day the people are going to like it [my music] and thank god, they do.’
Main man: Jones belts out a tune while appearing on TV show Jones The Song in 1968
Despite other TV commitments, among them a regular coaching role on The Voice, Jones draws the line at stepping out of his comfort zone by agreeing to celebrity talent shows such as Strictly Come Dancing.
‘No… you’ve got to learn things,’ he said. ‘When I was doing my TV show, I didn’t like to be choreographed. When you go on, you’ve got to do things a certain way. I
‘t’s against what you’d normally do. I couldn’t do that.’
The Jonathan Ross Show airs Saturday May 15th at 9.35PM on ITV and ITV Hub.
All yours: Surrounded By Time debuted at number one on the UK chart in May, selling 14,936 copies in its first week of release
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