Singer on course to topple rapper...
Jason Gregory
14:34 27th July 2010

Sir Tom Jones is on course to topple Eminem on this weekend's UK album chart.

The 70-year-old singer's new album 'Praise & Blame' is currently outselling Eminem's 'Recovery'.

The rapper's follow-up to 2009's 'Relapse' has been at number one for four of the last five weeks.

Jones's new album has been warmly received by critics – including Gigwise – for its interpretations of American gospel, blues, traditional and country songs. 

The UK's official number one will be announced on Sunday at 7pm.

Tom Jones - Through The Years

  • 1 - Tom Jones was born Thomas John Woodwood to Freda Jones and Thomas Woodward in the mining village of Trefforest, Pontypridd, near Cardiff, on June 7 1940.

  • 2 - Jones took an interest in music at an early age and was a regular performer at family gatherings. Aged 12, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and has since revealed that he listened to music almost incessantly during his two-year recovery period.

  • 3 - Jones married his high school sweetheart Melinda Trenchard at a small ceremony in March 1957. The pair had a son, Mark, a month later.

  • 4 - Despite remaining married to his wife Linda for over 50 years, Jones’ womanising is almost as infamous as his music. He is understood to have had affairs with Mary Wilson from The Supremes and the former Miss World Marjorie Wallace. Jones also has a son from a relationship with model Katherine Berkery.

  • 5 - Jones’ rise to fame began when he became the frontman of the Welsh beat group Tommy Scott and the Senators in 1963, and was a regular performer at working men’s clubs and dancehalls.

  • 6 - It was at a gig in 1964 where Jones’ vocal talent was spotted by the London-based managed Gordon Mills, who took the singer to London and contrived the stage name, Tom Jones.

  • 7 - The Welshman’s hip-thrusting and raunchy stage presence proved too much for many labels, but Mills was eventually able to secure a deal with Decca.

  • 8 - Jones’ first single, ‘Chills And Fever’, failed to chart in late 1964, but the following year the Mills-penned song ‘It’s Not Unusual’ became an international chart smash thanks largely to its heavy promotion on pirate radio station Radio Caroline.

  • 9 - 1965 proved to be a golden year for Jones as he recorded a song for the James Bond film Thunderball and was named Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards.

  • 10 - In a bid to hold on to chart success, Mills reinvented the singer in 1966 in order to appeal to a more mature audience. The decision solidified Jones’ wide-ranging appeal, particularly in America.

  • 11 - In 1967, the star played for the first time at The Flamingo in Las Vegas, where his penchant for wearing open-buttoned shirts prompted women to hurl their knickers on stage. A gig at the Caesars Palace saw one fan throw her hotel room key at the singer.

  • 12 - It was during Jones’ time in Las Vegas that the Welshman formed a close friendship with Elvis Presley, which last until The King’s death in 1977.

  • 13 - The early 70s and 80s saw the launch of two TV variety shows fronted by the star. This Is Tom Jones and The Tom Jones Show were broadcast in the UK and US, and proved hugely popular, although This Is Tom Jones was later subject to court action over royalty payments. (Pictured is a waxwork tribute to Jones in Las Vegas.)

  • 14 - The 70s also saw Jones try his hand at acting as he made an appearance in the TV song and dance epic Raquel!, which also featured performances from Bob Hope and John Wayne.

  • 15 - After suffering a decline in popularity in the late 70s, Jones tried to reinvent himself as a country singer at the start of the next decade, with little mainstream success.

  • 16 - Jones’ long-term manager Gordon Mills died on July 29 1986, and was replaced by the singer’s son Mark, who encouraged him to shun country in favour of more mainstream songs.

  • 17 - The change of direction worked, and in 1987 Jones collaborated with Art of Noise on a version of Prince’s ‘Kiss’, which charted at number 5 in the UK and number 31 on the US Billboard countdown.

  • 18 - The success continued to come for the star who was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989. (Pictured is the more 'budget' equivalent is Las Vegas.)

  • 19 - In 1999, Jones released the smash hit cover duets album ‘Reload’, which featured collaborations with the likes of Robbie Williams, Mousse T and The Cardigans. The album went to number one in the UK and sold more than 4 millions copies around the world.

  • 20 - In 2003, Jones was presented with the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

  • 21 - In 2005, the singer performed to his hometown of Pontypridd for the first time since 1964 to mark his 65th birthday.

  • 22 - In 2006, Jones, who had been made an OBE in 1999, was knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Comparing it to his music career, he said: “This is the best thing I have had. It's a wonderful feeling, a heady feeling.”

  • 23 - In 2008, Jones released ’24 Hours’, a critically acclaimed collection of songs, which included his first batch of new material in over 15 years. Upon its release, he vowed that he still wanted to be a “contender” in the music industry.

  • 24 - Released on July 25 2010, Jones latest album ‘Praise And Blame’, produced by Kings of Leon collaborator Ethan Jones, looks set to achieve similar success, with covers of songs by Bob Dylan and John Lee Hooker.

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