Amy Winehouse was “only just getting into gear” when she died, claims Sir Tom Jones.

Amy died in July 2011 after an alcohol binge. She was 27 when she passed away and had battled drink and drug addictions.

Tom feels sad when he thinks of what Amy still had to offer. He has compared her passing to that of Whitney Houston, who was found dead in a hotel in February 2012.

“Poor Amy Winehouse. At least someone like Whitney Houston left a legacy of great stuff but poor Amy, she was only just getting into gear. I would love to have worked with Houston, but I never got to,” he told British newspaper The Times.

Tom is a mentor on the UK version of The Voice, which he is thoroughly enjoying. The television show has been pitted against other singing talent contests such as The X Factor and American Idol, although Tom views them differently.

The Voice concentrates on vocals, which is why he agreed to be involved.

“Not to put Simon Cowell down, but here’s the thing - I remember there was a girl on one of his US shows, a couple of years ago now, and she was all over the place,” Tom recalled. “You know, she sang a song in three different bl**dy keys. That’s how off she was. But he liked the way she looked and the way she moved and he said, ‘You’re a star.’ And Paula Abdul said, ‘Simon, she’s out of tune.’ ‘Well, who cares about that?’ is what he said.”

Tom thinks the problem with many young singers is that they try to be too flashy. Although he is sometimes impressed with those who can complete runs of notes, on the whole he finds that unnecessary.

“Record companies hear something and they want more of it. So now if you don’t put a lot of runs in, a lot of vocal acrobatics, they think you’re not being modern enough. Jackie Wilson did it years ago — but when he did it, it fitted to what it was,” he claimed.