Tom Jones’ wife dead: Melinda Rose Woodward dies after a 'short but fierce' cancer illness

The couple were married for 59 years

Olivia Blair
Monday 11 April 2016 11:30 BST
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Lady Melinda and Sir Tom in 1970
Lady Melinda and Sir Tom in 1970 (PA)

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Sir Tom Jones's wife of 59 years has died after a “short but fierce" cancer illness.

Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, who was known as Linda, passed away at hospital in Los Angeles on Sunday morning surrounded by her husband and loved ones, a statement said.

"Sir Tom and his family have asked for privacy at this difficult time," it continued.

The singer recently cancelled a string of international tour dates including in Japan and the UAE due to a "serious illness in his immediate family".

Sir Tom and Lady Melinda married in 1957 when they were 16. Both the children of coal miners, the pair both grew up in Pontypridd in south Wales and started dating at the age of 15 having known each other since they were 12. The couple has one son, Mark who is also the "Delilah" singer's manager, who was born shortly after they married.

Lady Melinda often stayed away from the limelight yet her husband’s remarks about her caused a stir last year.

In an interview with the Sunday Times magazine, the 75-year-old recalled how she had once beaten him at their home after an affair of his hit the headlines.

He also spoke about his wife’s apparent illness with depression, saying she had “lost her spark”. This led to the columnist Sarah Vine branding him “ghastly” and accusations of sexism on social media. Sir Tom later said he was “misquoted”.

In the same controversial interview, Sir Tom maintained their marriage was “rock-solid”.

“She is the most important thing in my life,” he said. “An unbelievable woman. Linda is the love of my life and she still is, even though she doesn’t look like she did. I don’t look like I did either, but I try my best.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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