Tom Jones' tough health battles and retirement plans at 84 after undergoing major surgery

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Express.co.uk takes an inside look into Sir Tom Jones major health battles (Image: Getty)

The legendary performer, Sir Tom Jones, remains a force to be reckoned with at 84.

The Valleys’ favourite son has been titillating fans for over six decades with memorable classics such as It’s Not Unusual and Delilah. Entertaining audiences worldwide on his sold-out Ages and Stages World Tour, the energy of this Welsh dynamo seems inexhaustible.

Despite his senior years, the cherished judge on ITV’s The Voice claims to be in better shape than ever. In a conversation with the Mirror earlier this year, he expressed his surprise at his enduring vocal prowess: “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, Tom – originally known as Thomas Jones Woodward – hasn’t been spared health challenges over the years, most notably undergoing major dual hip replacement surgery. Here’s a close look at Sir Tom’s health status, including any buzz about possible retirement.

Sir Tom Jones arrives during The Voice UK 2018 launch photocall (Image: Getty Images)

Tom underwent a series of hip replacements in recent years, first having his left hip operated on in 2017 and later his right in 2022. The operation on the singer’s right hip was necessitated after he started experiencing difficulties standing during stage performances.

He expressed his previous struggle to the Daily Mail, revealing: “Yeah, I can do about four songs without sitting,” before going under the knife.

In 2017, the iconic singer underwent his first hip surgery due to relentless pain, which he described to The Mirror as something he “couldn’t get rid of”. He explained that a scan revealed the cartilage in his left hip had worn away, leaving him with a “dull ache” and “bones just crunching together”.

Last year, while attending the ITV Entertainment Autumn Showcase, Sir Tom opened up about his health struggles and his journey through a double hip replacement before embarking on his latest global tour. The ‘Sex Bomb’ singer shared his ordeal, saying: “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! “.

Sir Tom Jones poses as he attends the ITV Autumn Entertainment Launch (Image: Getty Images)

He recounted his conversation with the doctor, “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! ‘”.

The beloved Welsh performer also took to social media to express his gratitude for the outpouring of support from fans and to provide an update post-surgery. His message read: “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! “.

The iconic singer has also revamped his eating habits in recent years to maintain his health, ditching alcohol and embracing a paleo diet that emphasises lean meats, fruits, fish, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Tom Jones is a judge on the UK version of The Voice (Image: ITV)

Discussing his weight loss journey on a Radio 2 show, Tom shared: “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’.”

In an unusual twist to his health regimen, Tom revealed three years ago that he engages in “inversion therapy” a practice where one hangs upside down like a bat using a special frame, to promote well-being.

Tom discussed this unique method with The Sun in 2021, explaining: “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.

Despite his advancing years, Tom made it clear last year that he has no intention of retiring from the stage anytime soon.

He stated that he will only consider retirement if his vocal abilities begin to wane.

Sporting his omnipresent finely tuned vocals, serving as a regular coach on the ITV show The Voice, and currently engaged in a worldwide tour, it appears that slowing down is far from the mind of the ‘Sexbomb’ megastar.

Reflecting on his career path, Sir Tom confessed to being a natural entertainer who’s always loved hogging the limelight.

He nostalgically recalled: “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.

Much to the delight of their besotted admirers, the performer within continues to thrive.