Sir Tom Jones has revealed that Dame Shirley Bassey refused to duet with him at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert because she ‘felt she deserved her own spot’. Sir Tom, 82, said organisers of the event in June had plans for him to sing solo and then in a duet with fellow Welsh superstar Dame Shirley, 85.
But he claimed that she had apparently said: ‘If I don’t get my own spot, I’m not going to do it’. Sir Tom, who also revealed he is due to have another hip operation, said her decision was ‘fair enough’ but that he thought the plan for a duet had been a ‘great idea’.
The It’s Not Unusual singer was replaced at the star-studded concert by Sir Rod Stewart, while Dame Shirley chose not to appear after the surprising fallout. Sir Tom, who will shortly appear as a judge on singing talent show The Voice, said he had not done the concert, which aired on BBC1, because ‘we just couldn’t get it together’.
He said at the launch of ITV’s autumn entertainment schedule: ‘They just wanted me to do one of my songs, like Delilah… or something, and I was going to do a duet with Shirley Bassey.
‘She was going to be a surprise guest on my spot, but then Shirley said ‘If I don’t get my own spot, I’m not going to do it’. ‘So that’s fair enough, isn’t it? I thought it was going to be a good thing. But she felt that she deserved her own spot, then I’d do mine, then we would do a duet.’
Sir Tom also said jubilee concert producers wanted him to run up and down a ramp as he sung Sweet Caroline and he was starting to have trouble with his hip then. He said Sir Rod Stewart ended up doing the part he was being lined up to do. Sir Tom said he is due to have a ‘new hip’ after his US tour finishes. He is currently using a walking stick. A representative for Dame Shirley did not respond when asked for comment.