The couple were married for 59 years after meeting in school

The wife of singer Sir Tom Jones has passed away, it has been confirmed.

Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, known as Linda, had been married to the star for 59 years. Woodward died on Sunday morning (April 10) at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She is thought to have been 75 years of age.

A statement posted to Jones’ official website said that Woodward died “after a short but fierce battle with cancer” and was “surrounded by her husband and loved ones” at the time of her death.

“Sir Tom and his family have asked for privacy at this difficult time and no further information is currently available,” the statement added.

Jones had recently cancelled a number of tour dates overseas due to a “serious illness” in his family.

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Jones (real name Thomas Jones Woodward) met his wife (maiden name Trenchard) at secondary school in Treforest, near Pontypridd, south Wales. The pair married in 1957, both aged 16. Their only child, Mark, was born a month later.

Writing about Woodward in his 2015 autobiography Over The Top And Back, Jones said he had “never had that feeling for anyone else… I don’t think you can fall in love more than once”.

“She is an unbelievable woman. She’s the most important thing in my life,” Jones told the Sunday Times Magazine of Woodward prior to her death. “All the rest is just fun and games.”