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The legendary Sexbomb singer has savoured a lengthy career in music, which started from humble performances at working men’s clubs in Wales. Since then, he broke the US, toured the world and is due to hit the road again next year. Sir Tom, who is also a judge on The Voice, which returns to air tonight, revealed why he felt he had enduring appeal.
The baritone crooner admitted that he had changed his act over the years to appeal to different generations.
Sir Tom felt optimistic about remaining a popular figure and stated that he “couldn’t put my feet up” nor did he want to.
He hoped to sing for as long as his voice would allow him and told the Mirror in 2008 that he found his time on stage “very gratifying”.
Sir Tom said: “I couldn’t put my feet up, I don’t want to. I like to sing, I like to travel and I like to try new things.
“That’s what keeps me young and active. It keeps things fresh and alive. I’d hate to get stale.
“I love to do new things because it’s challenging. I’m not the sort of person who just puts out their greatest hits.”
Sir Tom explained that he changed his performance after he was told to gyrate less after complaints following one of his appearances on Blue Peter.
He recalled: “The BBC received letters from housewives asking, ‘Who is this man gyrating in front of my daughters? It’s disgusting.’ They asked me to tone it down the next time I went on!”
The star admitted that his ambition was “to keep going because you never know what is round the corner” and he was excited about the uncertainty of the future.
He said: “I’m not one of those old performers who say, ‘It’s not like it used to be’, if you start that, you’ve had it.”
Sir Tom said that his dance moves had “never been choreographed” and felt his gyrating “wasn’t that racy anyway” – despite being criticised a number of times.
The star recalled how Australian police recorded one of his performances to decide whether they “should cancel the tour or not” due to his infamous hip thrusting.
He believed his “big voice” was the key to his enduring appeal – something fans will hear on his planned 2021 tour, if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t lead to cancellations.
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Sir Tom added: “I think my love of performing shines through. I don’t think you can bulls*** kids.”
He commented that there had always been a “big age difference” between his fans, a trend he noted during early performances when he would sing to teenagers at the YMCA.
Sir Tom said: “I’ve had that wide appeal most of my life. There are little girls who like What’s New Pussycat? and older folk who like ballads.
“I think that has a lot to do with the reason why I’m still around. I’m not pigeon-holed in one age bracket.”
The Voice airs tonight at 8.45PM on ITV1.
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