Sunday, July 14, 2024

Dame Shirley Bassey: A look back at her 71-year music career

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Dame Shirley Bassey is known across the globe for her belting vocal and sequined dresses, with a career spanning seven decades.

Born in Tiger Bay, she signed her first professional contract in 1953, taking to the stage as a teenager and wowing audiences with her signature strong vocals from an early age.

“Everyone told me to shut up,” she told John L. Williams for her 2011 biography.

She didn’t stop singing – becoming the first Welsh artist to get a number one single with As I Love You in 1959.

It wasn’t long until she crossed paths with 007, singing the theme for the 1969 Bond film, Goldfinger.

Bassey went on to sing the theme tunes for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, as well as Moonraker in 1979, and has become forever linked to the James Bond film franchise.

However, her career is more than just Bond movies.

Bassey made her debut Royal Albert Hall performance in 1971, and even won Favourite British Artist at the first ever Brit Awards in 1977.

Most recently, she released her latest album, I Owe It All to You, in 2020, becoming the first female artist to chart in the top 40 across seven decades.

Now, Dame Shirley Bassey has received another honour, being made a Companion of Honour by King Charles III in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

“Every step of my career has been about taking that chance, believing in myself and making that leap,” she said.

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