Martin Bashir interviews Michael Jackson in 2002
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Sir Tom Jones, 80, has recalled how he first met the late Michael Jackson when the Thriller hitmaker was only a child before the pair became firm friends and would hang out regularly together at his Los Angeles home. The Sex Bomb singer said that to begin with, young Michael was like a “fan”, as the child star admired his work and had to “pluck up the courage” to speak to him.
I met him when he was a kid
Sir Tom said: “Michael Jackson used to hang out at my house in Bel Air before he’d gone too far. I met him when he was a kid.
“Quincy Jones, who produced Off the Wall and Thriller, lived around the corner from me.
“So he used to pass the house to see Quincy and one day he rang the bell with his sister La Toya and said, ‘I’ve finally plucked up enough courage to ring your bell and say hello’.
“I said, ‘Sure. You can come and see me whenever I’m here’,” he added to The Guardian.
The rockstar admitted Michael was in awe of his work and his career.
He continued: “He was just like a kid. Like a fan.
“He looked at the pictures on the wall in my pool table room and said, ‘Wow, you’ve had such a great career,’ and I said, ‘Having. Not had’.
Michael died in 2009 of cardiac arrest at the age of 50 at his home in Los Angeles.
While Tom who had moved to the US from Britain in 1974, returned to the UK in 2016.
Tom’s wife of 59 years, Linda Trenchard, sadly died while they were living in the states, following a “short but fierce” battle with lung cancer.
The Voice UK coach shared he had difficult days after her death, where he even struggled to even make it out of bed as he didn’t know whether he “would make it”.
Opening up on Linda’s death, Tom told the Sunday Mirror: “When my wife passed away – God bless her – I didn’t know whether I would make it.
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“There were days when I felt I couldn’t get up, you don’t want to get out of bed to start with.”
After her death, Tom left their £6.5 million mansion in LA and returned to London where he bought a flat.
This was something he said Linda had wanted to do in her final years but was unable to, due to her fear of flying.
This April will mark five years since Linda’s sad passing, and it’s evident that Tom has never gotten over his late wife’s passing.
He shared recently in a press conference for The Voice UK: “When my wife was still alive, I would take the [The Voice] DVDs back to LA to show her the show.”
One of her dying wishes was for the singer to return to England when she died and reconnect with his family.
Welsh-born Tom spoke on Linda’s advice, as he explained that was the reason he had returned to the UK.
He said: “I had to get out of the house we had together and try to start again.”
“She told me to come back to Britain, where the family is,” he added to The Telegraph.
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