The wife of singer Tom Jones, Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, died at the age of 75 on Sunday morning after a “short but fierce battle with cancer.”
Woodward, who was married to Jones for 59 years — almost her entire life — was known as Lady Linda, and the two met as childhood sweethearts when they were only 12.
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“Surrounded by her husband and loved ones, she passed away peacefully,” a statement on Jones’ website said. [Ed. Note: The website was down at the time of this writing.]
Jones had previously cancelled a bunch of concerts due to a family member’s “serious illness.”
Jones and Woodward started dating at 15, and married at 16 in 1957. They had one son, Mark, who’s now 59; he’s also Jones’ manager.
Woodward had suffered from emphysema and reports out of the U.K. say she had previously battled cancer.
”She’s the most important thing in my life,” Jones said. “An unbelievable woman. Linda is the love of my life and she still is, even though she doesn’t look like she did. I don’t look like I did, either, but I try my best.”
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Woodward was known as somewhat of a recluse in Beverly Hills, especially in her later years when she faced severe depression.
Jones was an admitted philanderer in his heyday, and according to his autobiography Over the Top and Back, Woodward only got physically angry one time about his infidelity, when Jones admitted he’d cheated with a former Miss World contestant.
“I stood there and took it. She chinned me,” he wrote. Jones comes clean in his book about his cheating past, saying he violated the sanctity of marriage on multiple occasions.
Live Nation released a statement saying that Jones and his family “have asked for privacy at this difficult time and no further information is currently available.”
Looking Back at Tom Jones's Career | PrettyFamous