Singer Tom Jones to test for black ancestry

Tom Jones.

LONDON • After being told that he is "just passing as white", Welsh crooner Tom Jones says he is ready to take a DNA test to find out once and for all if he is of black ancestry.

The star, whose hits include It's Not Unusual, Delilah and Sex Bomb, has a booming baritone voice, tight curly hair and an olive complexion.

"A lot of people still think I'm black. When I first came to America, people who had heard me sing on the radio would be surprised I was white when they saw me," Jones was quoted as saying by the Times.

"When I was born, my mother came out in big dark patches all over her body. They asked if she had any black blood and she said she didn't know.

"I'm going to get my DNA tested. I want to find out."

DNA tests claiming to trace ancestral lineage are now easily accessible and affordable.

The hip-swivelling singer has enjoyed a long career as a sex symbol, but now bemoans feeling objectified, saying he can "never predict when the knickers are going to get thrown".

Born Thomas Jones Woodward in South Wales to a coal-mining family, the 75-year-old singer discovered his musical talent as a child.

His career has spanned more than half a century and he has hundreds of records to his name.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2006.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Singer Jones to test for black ancestry'. Print Edition | Subscribe