Jones will sing in public for the first time since wife Linda's April 10 death

By Phil Boucher
May 10, 2016 01:30 PM
Neil P. Mockford/GC Images

Sir Tom Jones is using singing to help him work through the loss of his late wife, Linda, describing it as “my best therapy.”

Jones, who canceled his tour of the Far East and United Arab Emirates to care for Linda during her short, but fierce battle with cancer, is set to return to the stage in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace, London – the historic home of King Henry VIII – on June 8.

“Music is so important to me – it s my life,” the 75 year-old singer said in a statement posted on his personal website Monday.

“Through the brightest and darkest of times it has embedded a soundtrack to all my memories.”

Jones continued: “It means a huge amount to be able to continue to perform for such a loyal and giving audience; your support has been uplifting and doesn’t go unnoticed.”

“See you all at the shows this summer,” he concluded.

Jones’ wife of 59 years, Melinda Rose Woodward – known as Linda – died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on April 10. A statement released by the family said that she “passed away peacefully” and was “surrounded by her husband and loved ones.”

Jones asked for privacy in the immediate aftermath, spending time with his son and manager Mark Woodward, 59, in Santa Monica. He has only broken cover to thank his fans for their “sympathy and support” during this grieving process.

“Reading these genuine and lovely messages has lifted us all,” he posted on his website on April 27.

Despite his 50-year music career, returning to the stage will represent a huge challenge for Jones. The “It’s Not Unusual” singer first dated Linda, then 15, as teenagers in the small town of Treforest, Wales. In spite of his numerous infidelities – which, at one point, Jones estimated to involve up to 250 other women a year – the pair remained together for nearly six decades.

“If she dies, that’s a huge part of me gone,” Jones wrote about Linda at the end of his autobiography. “And I’m not sure I’m going to make it … I find it hard to see myself getting on stage and singing after that.”

Jones is scheduled to play three dates at the Hampton Court Festival on June 8, June 15 and June 16. Other artists performing at the festival include Art Garfunkel, George Benson and fellow Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins.