Tom Jones has claimed that he will take a DNA test to trace his ancestors’ ethnicity in an attempt to end confusion over his race.
The singer, who was recently axed as a judge on The Voice, has told The Times Magazine that his race has always been questioned due to his skin tone and curly hair.
“A lot of people still think I’m black,” he said. “When I first came to America, people who had heard me sing on the radio would be surprised that I was white when they saw me. Because of my hair, a lot of black people still tell me that I’m just passing as white.”
The Welsh star has also said that his mother Freda was confused about her ethnicity, saying that doctors had “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,” he added.
Tom Jones was recently criticised after stating that he was “paranoid” of homosexuals when he first started in the music industry.
In an interview with The Big Issue, Jones was quoted as saying: “I was ready for most aspects of the music industry but when I met the producer Joe Meek, that threw me off a bit. Because he was a homosexual. I thought, wait a minute, is the London scene, the people who run British showbusiness – are there a lot of homosexuals involved here? Because if so, I’m going back to Cardiff.”
The singer continued to say that his naive paranoia was “so much so that when I signed with Decca and Peter Sullivan became my manager, and he said the same thing Joe Meek said – tell the boys to pack their gear up, I want to talk to you myself – I said, you’re not one of these queer fellows are you? And he said, what are you on about? I became paranoid, you see.
“I wondered, was that required to make a hit record? But then I got into it and I realised no, it just so happened that the first guy to record me was a homosexual producer. Once I got over the shock of that, and realised it wasn’t true, most people were normal. Well, I shouldn’t put it like that. Homosexuals are normal, it’s not that they’re not normal. It’s just that they are what they are.”
Jones had been criticised for his comments, with Andrew White, Director of LGBT rights group Stonewall Cymru, telling The Daily Mail, “It’s not unusual to meet gay people in show business so we’d have thought that Sir Tom would have learnt how to talk about us by now. Instead, he’s still painfully tripping over his words.
“Here in Wales we call him Jones The Voice; it would be a real shame if he became Jones The Voice Of The Past.”
The veteran performer released his new covers album ‘Long Lost Suitcase’ in October, which features the Welsh singer covering the likes of The Rolling Stones, Hank Williams and more.
Jones recently spoke about his reaction to being axed from The Voice this summer. He says he told the BBC to “go fuck themselves”.