BORN Arnold George Dorsey on May 2, 1936, in Madras, India. He is one of 10 children born to soldier Mervyn and his wife Olive, who had Indian heritage.
His family settled in Leicester. He showed an early aptitude for music, but didn’t try singing until a pub competition at 17.
His impersonation of Jerry Lewis led him to be known professionally as Gerry Dorsey.
His first single, I’ll Never Love Again, in 1958, flopped. Friend Gordon Mills, who was Tom Jones’ manager, saw him named after a 19th-century composer.
His 1967 single Release Me became a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic. A string of hits followed.
He’s never stopped recording and will represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.