Sir Tom Jones thinks having a wife and a child made him “become a man very quickly”.

The 80-year-old singer had his first child, a son called Mark, 64 years ago, and he admitted that fatherhood changed his life and encouraged him to work doubly hard on his music.

Tom – whose late wife Linda passed away in 2016 – shared: “It gave me more drive. Because when you have a wife and child, you become a man very quickly. I was about to turn 17, and she was just 16 when Mark was born. And all of a sudden it was like I was a foot taller straight away; it’s a strange thing.”

Linda was with Tom during his early days in the music business and she did everything she could to support him.

He said: “All of those things, she lived through with me.

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“She knew what I was trying to do, and she was 100 per cent behind me. She said, ‘Whatever I’ve got to do to help you get to where you want to go, or where we want to go, I will do it, we will do it.’ And I said, ‘Yes, we will!'”

Tom’s new album, Surrounded by Time, represents a landmark moment in his career, as it’s the first time Linda – who died of cancer – hasn’t been around to offer any kind of feedback or advice.

And the chart-topping star admits he misses her input.

He told The Independent: “Terrible, terrible. That was the first thing I thought of, believe me. But I think that she would love it, because the first track on there is, I Won’t Crumble With You if You Fall, which she told me she loved when she was dying.”

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