Dame Shirley Bassey once defaced a poster of Sir Tom Jones with lipstick and branded him a "poof".
The ‘It’s Not Unusual’ hitmaker invited his close friend on to his show in the 1970s but the 79-year-old beauty was fuming with how delayed her performance was and took her anger out on her fellow Welsh singer by smothering his lips in vibrant make up and writing the insult underneath his new done-up look.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz, Tom said: "When I had my old show on ITV in 1969-70 Shirley was on there and she was upset because we were behind time. She stormed off. She had sung two songs and wanted to do a third, but something was wrong, beyond my control.
"There was a big poster of the show in the hallway of Elstree Studios and I was on there as it was my show with a photograph of me. Before she left she had put red lipstick on my lips and put underneath: ‘Tom Jones is a poof.’ Shirley is great though, we’re good friends!"
And Shirley was no doubt there for Tom when he suddenly lost his wife Melinda Trenchard, whom he married in 1957, last year following a "short but fierce" battle with lung cancer.
He explained: "When she passed it was so sudden, in April, she found out she had lung cancer and it was too late, it was terminal, and it was very, very quick. So it really knocked the stuffing out of me because we’d been together since we were kids you see. We were kids together. And she has always been there so it was a strange thing. I didn’t know whether I would be able to carry on and I just didn’t know but, you know, my family, and my son and my daughter-in-law who are also my managers and Mark my son, he said, ‘Look if you don’t sing, you’ll die, you’ll just shrivel up and die, do you want to do that?’ I said, ‘No not really.’ So we tried it, we sort of broke-in easily. I got some musicians together and we tried some songs out because I didn’t know whether I could sing and then we did."
The 76-year-old singer believes music has kept him going through his wife’s passing and he’s thrilled he’s been asked back on to ‘The Voice’ as a coach as the singing show was Linda’s favorite.
Speaking on UK TV show ‘Lorraine’ on Thursday (01.05.17), he said: "It’s saving my life. Music is more important even to me now than it was before because it’s just…. and she would want me too. And coming back on The Voice because she [wife Linda] loved ‘The Voice’."