Tom Jones' major health battles and retirement plans at 84 after huge operation

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Sir Tom Jones is one heck of a performer.

Aged 84, the Welsh star, who brought us iconic hits, including It’s Not Unusual and Delilah, has been regaling his legion of loyal fans for 60 years and is currently performing on his sold-out mammoth Ages and Stages World Tour.

Despite his age, The Voice guru, who is revered by fans, young and old, on the ITV show, says he’s feeling fitter than ever, telling the Mirror earlier this year: “Well, thank God my voice is still working. I am 83 years old. I mean I can’t believe it, but it is true. When I am singing I am like, ‘How the hell is this coming out of me?’ Honestly. If the voice was not there I am sure I would be going ‘Urgh, I don’t want to do so many shows’ but I love it as the voice is still working!”

However, the Kiss singer – who was born Thomas Jones Woodward – has endured a number of health battles over the year, including a major double hip replacement. So, as we wish ‘Pemblwydd Hapus’ to the Treforest-born crooner, here’s an update on Sir Tom’s health – and whether he has any plans to retire.

Sir Tom Jones has had two hip replacements
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Getty Images)

He’s been regaling us with iconic hits for 60 years
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Mirrorpix)

Double hip replacement

Tom has had both of his hips replaced over recent years, having undergone surgery on his left hip in 2017 and his right hip in 2022. The singer’s right hip replacement came after he began to struggle to stand up during his performances on stage as he told the Daily Mail: “Yeah, I can do about four songs without sitting,” prior to his surgery.

In 2017, the musician had his first hip operation following constant pain, which he told The Mirror he simply “couldn’t get rid of”. Described as a “dull ache”, a scan illuminated that his cartilage had “gone” in his left hip. “The bones [were] just crunching together,” he elaborated.

Tom spoke about his health while at the ITV Entertainment Autumn Showcase last year, in which he gave details of his recovery from a double hip replacement ahead of his latest world tour. The star said that he had experienced some difficulties, revealing: “I’ve got to have a new hip. I had [my left hip] done five years ago and it worked great, so now [my right hip’s] starting to go wear and tear! So, at the moment, I’m bone on bone!

“That’s what the fella [doctor] told me. But I’ve got a tour to do in America first, I can’t go in now. He said, ‘Well, you should!’ I said, ‘I can’t, I’ve got a show to do!'”

Sir Tom followed this by sharing another update on his social media pages, in which he thanked fans for their supportive messages and gave an update on his surgery. He wrote: “Papa has two new hips now! For all those concerned and sent in well wishes, I am pleased to report my recent surgery went very well, I’m following orders and doing my physio, so happy to say I will be back soon!”

Weight gain

The singer has overhauled his diet over recent years, in a bid to keep his health in check. He cut down on drinking alcohol and adopted a caveman, or paleo, diet, which sees dieters focus on eating lean meats, fruits, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Speaking on a Radio 2 show about his weight loss, Tom said: “I was putting too much weight on. I didn’t think I was going to and I left the working out for a bit, thought I’d keep a check on it.

“But with the Christmas puddings and cakes, before I knew it I was 230lb (16.4 stone) which was 30lb more than I should be. I couldn’t get into my suits. That’s when I thought: ‘This has got to stop’.”

Hanging upside down ‘like a bat’

Three years ago, Tom revealed how he likes to look after his heath – by hanging upside down like a bat. In a previous interview, he discussed the bizarre action known as “inversion therapy”, where individuals flip upside down on a special frame.

In 2021, Tom spoke to The Sun about the preventative procedure, sharing: “In 2030 I am going to be 90 years old. I hang upside down. You know on one of those frames. “It’s great. You put your feet in the thing and you flip and you hang.”

The star is showing no signs of slowing down
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ITV)

Retirement plans

Last year, Tom insisted he has no plans to retire from performing anytime soon, saying he’ll only hang up his mic if his voice starts to fail.

With his voice in fine fettle, his ongoing role as a coach on the ITV show The Voice and his current global tour, it doesn’t look as if the Sexbomb star is ready to slow down any time soon.

Looking back on his life, Sir Tom admitted he is a born performer and has never wanted to share the spotlight. Speaking to us, he surmised: “I had an uncle, my father’s older brother, and his name was Georgie and he was a singing waiter and he used to sing in pubs so I would go and see him.

“I knew that I could sing and I was not frightened of anything. [But] I did not want to be part of a choir in Wales. I wanted to show off.” And, fortunately for his swathes of starry-eyed fans, the showman in him is still very much alive.

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