"A lot of people still think I'm black," said the singer

By Jeff Nelson
Updated November 02, 2015 05:15 PM
Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty

Sir Tom Jones wants to do some digging into his family tree.

Known for hits like “What’s New Pussycat” and “She’s a Lady,” the Welsh singer, 75, opened up to U.K. magazine The Times ahead of the release of his autobiography, Over the Top and Back.

Here are three of the buzziest bites from the interview.

He wants to test his DNA for black ancestry
A lot of people still think I’m black. When I first came to America, people who had heard me sing on the radio would be surprised that I was white when they saw me. Because of my hair, a lot of black people still tell me I’m just passing as white. When I was born, my mother came out in big dark patches all over her body. They asked if she had any black blood and she said she didn’t know. I’m going to get my DNA tested. I want to find out.

Fans still throw their unmentionables at the sex symbol!You can never predict when the knickers are going to get thrown. That’s the worst thing about it. If it’s during an up-tempo song, fine. But then I’ll be singing “The Green, Green Grass of Home” and they’ll start flying. You think, “My God, I’m singing about a man in jail dreaming about home and I’ve got a pair of knickers on my head.” It gets out of hand.

Who said chivalry’s dead? He doesn’t like to swear in front of the ladies
I’ve always respected the female sex. I try not to swear in front of women, even if they swear a lot themselves. A woman can tell you to go f— yourself in the blink of an eye now, but I still feel a twinge if someone is using bad language around them. I think you should open doors for them and offer them your seat. I know a lot of women who say you don’t need to do this for us. But I feel better when I do.