Sir Tom Jones's wife has died after a 'short but fierce battle with cancer', the singer's publicist said today.
Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, better known as Linda, passed away with her husband of 59 years at her side yesterday morning in Los Angeles.
Sir Tom, who married Linda when they were both teenagers, often described her as the 'love of my life', despite his infamous infidelity and affairs over the course of their marriage.
News of the 75-year-old's death comes just a week after Sir Tom cancelled a string of gigs in the Far East due to a 'serious illness' in his immediate family.
It is not known what time of cancer she was suffering from, but his autobiography released last year, Sir Tom revealed his wife, a grandmother of two, has twice had cancer scares, and was a heavy smoker who had developed emphysema.
He also recalled how he fell in love with her and then 'never had that feeling for anyone else... I don't think you can fall in love more than once'.
In a statement released today, the star's agent said: 'Sir Tom Jones' wife of 59 years, Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, passed away Sunday morning, April 10, after a short but fierce battle with cancer. Surrounded by her husband and loved ones, she passed away peacefully at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.'
The childhood sweethearts met aged 12 in Sir Tom's home town of Pontypridd and married when they were both just 16. They had one child together, Mark, 59, who now works as Sir Tom's manager.
The former Voice judge started his world tour last month, and was due to perform Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Filipino capital of Manila at the start of April, but pulled out hours beforehand due to a family illness and was said to be 'devastated' at calling it off.
On April 3 it was announced that he also shelved dates in Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka, although his management had denied it was Linda who was unwell.
The singer famously claimed he had bedded 250 women in one year at the height of his career, but despite his self-confessed adultery, remained devoted to his wife, calling his marriage 'rock-solid' and said 'all the rest was fun and games'
He has previously said he would not be able to carry on singing if his wife died.
'She's the most important thing in my life,' Sir Tom 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.'
Tom had said that he and his wife had an arrangement since the late Sixties, when Linda stopped going on the road with him, saying: 'She doesn't ask.'
His reported long-term liaison with Mary Wilson of The Supremes was documented in her book, Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme, and he also had a long affair with Marjorie Wallace, a former Miss World, in 1976.
Tom Jones, then known as Tommy Woodward, met Melinda Trenchard at school when he was just 12 years old.
The couple started dating at 15, married at 16 and had their only child, Mark, a year later.
In his autobiography, Over The Top And Back, Sir Tom wrote of watching Linda walk up the hill to school and of her sometimes giving him a smile, noting that she was 'a cut above me academically and a cut above me socially, too'.
Her family owned cinemas in the area where both Tom and Linda grew up, and she was in the A stream while Tom, who later learned he had dyslexia, struggled and left school at 15.
Once her husband became famous, Linda was seemingly happy to remain in the background, even keeping quiet as he was openly unfaithful to her.
He claimed he had bedded 250 women in one year at the height of his career, enjoying affairs with a string of women, while his wife seemingly looked the other way.
But it was his liaisons with Supremes singer Mary Wilson, and Marjorie Wallace, a former Miss World which led to Linda losing her cool.
Upon reading in Disc magazine that Wilson was in the UK 'to see Tom Jones', Linda hired a minicab to take her to Bournemouth where her husband was staying to confront the pair.
However, he had been warned she was on her way, removing Wilson and any trace of Wilson from the hotel suite.
According to Tom's road manager, Chris Ellis, the next morning Linda had cried: 'When I think of that b**** lying on these sheets!'
In 1976, Tom embarked on an affair with American beauty queen Wallace, who he was pictured with numerous times, including in Barbados, where they were seen kissing during filming for a television show, and in Las Vegas.