Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey
Dame Shirley Bassey, DBE, is a Welsh singer. She found fame in the late 1950s and was "one of the most popular female vocalists in Britain during the last half of the 20th century". In the US, in particular, she is best known for recording the theme songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Moonraker (1979), and is a UNESCO Artist for Peace.
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James Bond-Style 'Goldshower' Is More Than A Wee Bit Funny
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Unverified claims that Donald Trump watched prostitutes urinate on one another in a “golden shower” routine in Moscow have inspired a stream of jokes. Now, James Bond is on the fun. In a clever intro Wednesday, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” spoofed the opening of the 1964 007 movie “Goldfinger.” Only now the title is “Goldshower” and the words that Shirley Bassey sang in the original film have changed, as has the cast. Vladimir Putin as “Nipples”? That’s worth the price of admission.  Watch the parody above and compare it to the real “Goldfinger” opening below.   h/t Uproxx -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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The Carnegie Hall You Thought You Knew
Huffington Post - 9 months
What makes New York City one of the most exciting and cherished places in the world is its rich history of contributing to arts and culture. It's a magical city that draws people from near and far. From Broadway plays to live jazz at Dizzy's or emerging artists performing in the village on any given night, New York City locals and visitors can experience a cultural energy that's far beyond the most obvious narrative. New York City's acknowledged position as the mecca for arts and entertainment in America means that aspiring artists and performers flock here in untold numbers, willing to sacrifice everything for the opportunity to present their work at the highest levels in their fields. However, there is often the mistaken impression that accessibility and engagement is restricted to the glittering elite who created and endowed the city's great institutions. Yet this could not be further from the truth, particularly in regard to the iconic Carnegie Hall. There is actually a welc ...
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Queen's 90th birthday celebrations mark her love of horses
Guardian (UK) - 10 months
TV and pop royalty meet the real thing as no fewer than 900 horses join the birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle Even the Queen’s well-documented love of horses must have been sated by the equine extravaganza staged as part of her 90th birthday celebrations on Sunday. No fewer than 900 – 10 for each of her years – paraded and pranced for her delectation at Windsor Castle during a birthday gala that also included a brace of dames in actor Helen Mirren and singer Shirley Bassey. Continue reading...
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Guardian (UK) article
From Shirley Bassey To Sam Smith, Bond Songs Remain A Pop Oddity
NPR - over 1 year
Scott Simon speaks with the authors of a new book about the two dozen theme songs produced by the James Bond films, and what they say about the times in which they were written. » EMail This
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Watch 007 fans edit themselves into every Bond movie
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
Bond superfans Paul and Tim created the entertaining video in a campaign to get Shirley Bassey to sing the theme song for upcoming Bond flick "Spectre."
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Yahoo News article
Elizabeth Sobieski: Asha Puthli at the GRAMMY Museum
Huffington Post - over 3 years
"May I help you?" asked the handsome young man opening the heavy doors to the Museum of Modern Art. "If you really want to help me, you should marry me," replied the stunning girl eclectically attired in a gold-threaded red midriff-baring blouse and skirt, topped by a fox-headed stole purchased from a thrift shop. It was 1970 and Asha Puthli's year-long student visa was about to expire and she would have to rebound to Mumbai (then Bombay). This vocalist with her unique five octave range had just been discovered by John Hammond, the legendary record producer who had first signed Billie Holliday, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. And now he wanted to guide Asha. What could she do? Such was Asha's charm, the young man replied, "Absolutely! I've never seen anyone as beautiful as you." Although he had not been seeking a wife, Asha and the Man from MOMA married and she was soon in a New York recording studio working with Hammond. While the other well brought up y ...
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John DeBellis: Interview With Sid Bernstein
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Five years ago I had the privilege to spend four hours interviewing Sid Bernstein. Sid Bernstein was the man responsible for bringing the Beatles to America, which could be enough for several past and present lives. Add to that the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Manfred Mann, and the Dave Clark Five -- pretty much the entire British Invasion. He was also the first man to book a rock and roll act into Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden where he broke the color line bringing in James Brown. Oh, and he was also the first to book a rock and roll band into a stadium (The Beatles in Shea Stadium). I think his greatest accomplishment was that he was as nice a person as he was successful. To rephrase Will Rogers, "I haven't met a man that wouldn't like Sid Bernstein." JOHN: As a tailor's son, how did you get involved in promotions? SID: I went to James Monroe High School, a big school in the East Bronx. My first promotion was the first alumni reunion dance. I ...
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Glitzy amfAR gala raises $25 million, and goes to outer-space
Yahoo News - almost 4 years
CAP D'ANTIBES, France - With an apt rendition of "Gold-finger," singing legend Shirley Bassey roused celebrity-revelers to dig deep into their pockets at the 20th amfAR gala in the Cap D'Antibes Thursday, helping to raise an estimated $25 million for AIDS research.
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Salvatore Bono: Catching Up With Skye From Morcheeba
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
When you hear Skye's voice on any of Morcheeba's songs or her solo work, you know you are hearing something that seems to be not of this planet. Her voice is as powerful as an opera singer but is as tender as an eggshell. She mixes soul, rock, dub, and R&B over microbeats and has become the undisputed queen of trip-hop. After releasing her third solo album, Back To Now, last fall, she has been touring the world and also prepping with Morcheeba for a new album. I spoke to Skye about her music, Morcheeba, and her long career. What does the title of your latest record, Back To Now, signify? The title Back To Now is a line taken from a song "Little Bit Lost" from the record: "Trying to figure it out and find my way back to now." It's about feeling centred or grounded, if you like. Letting go of the past and being ready to move forward. I'm in a good place right now, mentally, spiritually and the album title reflects that. With three solo records under your belt, how d ...
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Who's At Margaret Thatcher's Funeral
Popeater - almost 4 years
LONDON — More than 2,300 guests attended the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at St. Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday. In all, 11 serving prime ministers and dignitaries representing 170 countries accepted invitations to the solemn event, Downing Street said. Here's a look at some of the prominent figures on the guest list: ROYALS Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip Greece's Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of the Hellenes WORLD DIGNITARIES AND PUBLIC FIGURES Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron Former U.K. Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu F.W. de Klerk, the last apartheid-era South African president U.S. presidential delegation, led by former secretaries of state George Schultz and James Bak ...
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Liz Smith: Michael Douglas Aglow in the 'Candelabra' of his Golden Years -- Charlize Theron's Denim Dream -- The Bible'sControversial Samson
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
"This is one of the wonderful things about this business. There are still parts for old people. I never think about retirement." That's Michael Douglas in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Michael and Matt Damon sat down to talk to EW about their hotly awaited HBO film Behind the Candelabra. This tells the story of entertainer deluxe Liberace and Scott Thorson, his much younger lover. What touched me about Michael's quote is that it reminded me of the premiere of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps several years back, when Michael was battling cancer. The supermarket tabloids had written his death sentence -- and they are usually 90 percent correct, unfortunately. Michael himself appeared frail and ravaged by the illness and his treatments. This was especially so in contrast to his gorgeous wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. She was more subdued than usual the night of the premiere, but Zeta-Jones, even worried, can't ever look too subdued. I recall it was one of the m ...
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Prince Albert hosts charity gala
Monsters and Critics - almost 4 years
Monaco's Prince Albert and Princess Charlene hosted a star-studded charity gala last Friday (01.03.13), with guests including Dame Shirley Bassey,
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Monsters and Critics article
Liz Smith: Oscar Winner Jennifer Lawrence -- the Press Loves Her -- for the Moment -- Oscar-Winner Anne Hathaway -- Hollywood's 'Most Polarizing Star?'
Huffington Post - about 4 years
"I'm a sinner," reads the famous black tee shirt from Madonna's recent "MDNA" concert tour. On the back, it reminds us that we are all sinners. I have been thinking about this since all the hoorah of Pope Benedict XVI's decision to retire and the coming gathering in the Vatican to choose a new Pope. I've decided that one controversy after another, throughout history, the Catholic Church has made a lot of poor sometimes disastrous decisions and had to be forgiven for them. Its history is far from perfect although perhaps its civilizing force during the Renaissance and the good works the Church does all over the world make up for it. I see that Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite novelists, suggested in the New York Times last Sunday that "You don't have to be a cardinal to lead the church. Why not a nun in heels?" (Mr. Leonard grew up in the Church, taught by Jesuits.) It wouldn't be a bad idea if the Cardinals meeting considered this advice. It is said that the Ita ...
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Randall Jenson: Oscars 2013 Bring Gay Surprises And The Best 'Divas Live' Performances Ever
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Full of exciting performances and celebrity spotlights, this year's Oscars proved to be not only an amazing awards telecast but one of the best Divas Live concerts in a long time. The opening number featured ambiguously gay host Seth MacFarlane singing an original song, "We Saw Your Boobs," which listed the many famous actresses who have bared their breasts on the big screen. Ironically, as the song reached its climax, MacFarlane was joined by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, who likely had no real interest in the jingle's topic. Brave, with its strong feminist undertones, won for Best Animated Feature Film. Though I was disappointed that neither The Invisible War nor How to Survive a Plague, two important social justice films, won for Best Documentary Feature (they lost out to Searching for Sugar Man), I was pleased that Anne Hathaway swept away the competition and proved every queen's predication right with her win for Best Supporting Actress for Les Misérables. I als ...
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Shirley Bassey
  • 2016
    Age 79
    In 2016, she was named as one of "the 50 greatest Welsh men and women of all time".
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  • 2014
    Age 77
    Her album, Hello Like Before was released on 17 November 2014.
    More Details Hide Details It includes a 50th-anniversary re-recording of "Goldfinger" (recreating the original orchestration) and a duet of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" with Paloma Faith, produced and conducted by Stuart Barr.
    Bassey performed "I'm Still Here" and "The Lady Is A Tramp" on 13 November 2014 at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance in the presence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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  • 2013
    Age 76
    She performed at the 2013 Academy Awards on 24 February 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise.
    More Details Hide Details It was her first appearance at an Oscars ceremony as a performer. She sang "Goldfinger" to a standing ovation.
  • 2012
    Age 75
    Bassey was one of the line-up of artists on 4 June 2012 who performed at the Queen's 60th Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace, singing "Diamonds Are Forever".
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  • 2011
    Age 74
    The BBC broadcast a 70-minute drama entitled Shirley on 29 September 2011, depicting Bassey's early life and career.
    More Details Hide Details Ruth Negga played the title role.
    She also performed at the Classical Brit Awards in 2011, singing "Goldfinger" in tribute to John Barry.
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    Bassey performed at a gala celebrating the 80th birthday of Mikhail Gorbachev on 30 March 2011.
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  • 2010
    Age 73
    On 24 March 2010, Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they were undertaking fresh inquiries into the death, and specifically claims that the convicted killer Michael Moffat was involved in her death.
    More Details Hide Details However, in October 2010 it was reported that the investigation came to an end and concluded that there "is no evidence of any criminal act involved" in Novak's death." In a 2009 interview, Bassey stated that she and her son had reconciled. Bassey has four grandsons through her daughter, Sharon Novak. Bassey resides in Monaco. "For services to entertainment", Bassey was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) on 31 December 1999 by Queen Elizabeth II. She was invited to perform in 2002 at the Party at the Palace, a public celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee. She was awarded France's top honour, the Legion d'Honneur, to signify her popularity and importance in the culture of France.
  • 2009
    Age 72
    She performed several of the new songs from The Performance in November 2009 on various TV shows: The Graham Norton Show, The Paul O'Grady Show and as the guest singer on Strictly Come Dancing.
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    Bassey headlined at the BBC Electric Proms on 23 October 2009, in her only full live set of 2009.
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  • 2008
    Age 71
    She was rushed to hospital in Monaco on 23 May 2008 to have an emergency operation on her stomach after complaining of abdominal pains.
    More Details Hide Details She was forced to pull out of the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute concert because of her illness. A biography, Diamond Diva, was published in 2008. Bassey recorded the album The Performance (2009), with James Bond composer David Arnold as co-producer (with Mike Dixon). A number of artists wrote songs expressly for Bassey, including Manic Street Preachers, Gary Barlow, Tom Baxter, KT Tunstall, Pet Shop Boys, Nick Hodgson of the Kaiser Chiefs, John Barry and Don Black.
  • 2007
    Age 70
    In 2007, Bassey performed in Fashion Rocks in aid of The Prince's Trust at the Royal Albert Hall.
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    Bassey performed a 45-minute set at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival wearing a pink Julien Macdonald dress, and customised Wellington boots.
    More Details Hide Details A new album, Get the Party Started, was subsequently released on 25 June 2007 and entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 6. The single of the title song reached No. 3 on the US Dance Chart. The same year, Bassey performed "Big Spender" with Elton John at his annual White Tie and Tiara Ball to raise money for The Elton John AIDS Foundation.
    "The Living Tree", written, produced and originally recorded by the group Never the Bride, was released as a single on 23 April 2007, marking Bassey's 50th anniversary in the UK Singles Chart – and the record for the longest span of Top 40 hits in UK chart history.
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  • 2006
    Age 69
    Marks & Spencer signed her for their Christmas 2006 James Bond-style television advertising campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey is seen in a glamorous Ice Palace singing a cover version of Pink's song "Get the Party Started", wearing an M&S gown.
  • 2005
    Age 68
    Bassey topped the bill at the 2005 Royal Variety Performance, introducing her new song "The Living Tree".
    More Details Hide Details Two popular Audiences with Shirley Bassey have aired on British television, one in 1995 that attracted more than 10 million viewers in the UK, with the second being broadcast in 2006. Bassey returned to perform in five arenas around the UK in June the same year, culminating at Wembley. She also performed a concert in front of 10,000 people at the Bryn Terfel Faenol Festival in North Wales broadcast by BBC Wales.
  • 2003
    Age 66
    Bassey celebrated 50 years in show business in 2003 with the release of the CD Thank You for the Years, which was another Top 20 album.
    More Details Hide Details A gala charity auction of her stage costumes at Christie's, "Dame Shirley Bassey: 50 Years of Glittering Gowns", raised £250,000 (US$500,000) for the Dame Shirley Bassey Scholarship at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital Appeal.
  • 2002
    Age 65
    On 3 June 2002 she was one of a prestigious line-up of artists including Elton John, Paul McCartney and Tom Jones who performed at the Queen's 50th Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace.
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  • 2001
    Age 64
    In 2001, Bassey was principal artiste at the Duke of Edinburgh's 80th birthday celebration.
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  • 1998
    Age 61
    Bassey was sued in a breach of contract case in 1998 by her former personal assistant, who also accused Bassey of hitting her and making an ethnic slur.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey won the case. The episode was lampooned by Alexander Baron in his one-act play The Trial of Shirley Bassey. The following year, she performed the official song for the rugby World Cup, "World in Union", with Bryn Terfel at the opening ceremony at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, wearing a gown designed on the Welsh flag. Their single made the Top 40, and Bassey contributed two more songs to the official album Land of My Fathers, which reached No. 1 on the UK compilations chart, and went silver.
    On 7 October 1998 in Egypt, Bassey performed for a benefit at an open-air concert close to the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey played the Friday night at Henley festival in 1984.
  • 1997
    Age 60
    Bassey celebrated her 60th birthday in 1997 with two open-air concerts, at Castle Howard and Althorp Park, and another TV special.
    More Details Hide Details The resulting live album The Birthday Concert received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.
  • 1987
    Age 50
    She recorded an album of James Bond themes, The Bond Collection in 1987, but was apparently unhappy with the results so she declined to release it. (Five years later it was released anyway, Bassey sued in court, and all unsold copies were withdrawn.) Bassey provided vocals for Swiss artists Yello on "The Rhythm Divine" (1987), a song co-written by Scottish singer Billy Mackenzie.
    More Details Hide Details An album sung entirely in Spanish, La Mujer was released in 1989. In the latter mid-1980s Bassey had started working with a vocal coach, a former opera singer, and her album Keep the Music Playing (1991) displayed a grand, operatic pop style on several songs (perhaps also influenced by her album with the LSO seven years earlier). EMI released the five-CD box set Bassey – The EMI/UA Years 1959–1979 in 1994. The accompanying booklet opened with a poem by Marc Almond. Bassey collaborated with Chris Rea in the film La Passione (1996), appearing in the film as herself and releasing the single "'Disco' La Passione". The remix of this single charted just outside the UK top 40. Bassey's "History Repeating" (1997), written for her by the Propellerheads, reached No. 1 on the UK Dance Chart, and No. 10 on the US Dance Chart. It was also a Top 10 hit in Italy. The liner notes of the Propellerheads' album Decksandrumsandrockandroll included the lines: "We would like to extend our maximum respect to Shirley Bassey for honouring us with her performance. We are still in shock."
  • 1978
    Age 41
    In 1978, Bassey pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly "after shouting abuse in the street and pushing a policeman".
    More Details Hide Details Bassey closed out the decade with her third title theme for a Bond film, Moonraker (1979). Throughout most of the 1980s, Bassey focused on charitable work and performing occasional concert tours throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States. She had ended her contract with United Artists, whose former record division was now part of EMI, and began what she referred to as "semi-retirement". Bassey recorded an album entitled All by Myself (1982) and made a TV special for Thames Television called A Special Lady with guest Robert Goulet. Around this time she recorded a duet with the French film actor Alain Delon, "Thought I'd Ring You" (1983), which became a hit single in Europe. Bassey was now recording far less often but an album of her most famous songs, I Am What I Am (1984), was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) conducted by Carl Davis. This was followed by a single and video to support the London Tourist Board, "There's No Place Like London" (1986), which was co-written by Lynsey de Paul and Gerard Kenny.
  • 1971
    Age 34
    Bassey appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show, broadcast on Christmas Day in 1971.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey starred in the six-episode The Shirley Bassey Show (1976), the first of her television programmes for the BBC, followed by a second series of six episodes in 1979. The final show of the first series was nominated for the Golden Rose of Montreux in 1977. The series featured guests including Neil Diamond, Michel Legrand, The Three Degrees and Dusty Springfield and featured Bassey in various international locations as well as in the television studio.
  • 1970
    Age 33
    Between 1970 and 1979, Bassey had 18 hit albums in the UK Albums Chart.
    More Details Hide Details Her album The Magic Is You (1978) featured a portrait by the photographer Francesco Scavullo. In 1973, her sold-out concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall were recorded and released as a two-LP set, Shirley Bassey: Live at Carnegie Hall. This album and the majority of her recordings from this period have been released on CD by EMI and BGO Records. Returning to the James Bond franchise, she recorded the theme song for Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Bassey was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions, in November 1972 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at Heathrow Airport, and in January 1993, when Michael Aspel surprised her at the curtain call of a sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
    Bassey's UK comeback came in 1970, leading to one of the most successful periods of her career.
    More Details Hide Details Starting the year with a BBC Television 'Special' The Young Generation Meet Shirley Bassey, recorded in Sweden and shown on BBC1 on 18 March. She returned to the UK with a record-breaking run of performances at the Talk of the Town nightclub. Also that year, her album Something was released, and showcased a new Bassey style, a shift from traditional pop to more contemporary songs and arrangements (the eponymous single was more successful in the UK charts than the original recording by The Beatles) – although Bassey would never completely abandon what that had been her forte: standards, show tunes, and torch songs. "Something" was also a Top 10 US hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. Other singles of this period included the hit "Never Never Never", an English version of the Italian "Grande grande grande", reaching the Top 10 in the US Adult Contemporary Chart, the UK Top 10 and No. 1 in Australia and South Africa. The success of "Something" (single No. 4, album No. 5 in the UK) spawned a series of successful albums on the United Artists label, including Something Else (1971), And I Love You So (1972), I Capricorn (1972), Never Never Never (1973), Good, Bad but Beautiful (1975), Love, Life and Feelings (1976), You Take My Heart Away (1977) and Yesterdays (1978). Additionally, two of Bassey's earlier LPs also entered the charts in the '70s: And We Were Lovers (1967, re-issued as Big Spender), and Let's Face the Music (1962, re-issued as What Now My Love).
  • 1968
    Age 31
    Sergio Novak, the assistant manager of the Excelsior Hotel in Venice, Lido, Italy, and Bassey were married from 1968 until they divorced in 1979.
    More Details Hide Details Novak served as Bassey's manager throughout this time. With Novak she adopted her grand-nephew, Mark. The fathers of Bassey's two daughters, Sharon Bassey (a.k.a. Sharon Novak, 1954) and Samantha Bassey (a.k.a. Samantha Novak, born 1963), are unknown. However, Bassey's first husband suggested that Samantha, born during the couple's marriage, was the result of an affair between Bassey and Peter Finch. In 1965, according to an article in Jet, "There is a big dispute in London over who is the father of tempestuous singer Shirley Bassey's baby. Although one-time boy friend Australian actor Peter Finch agreed that the child may not belong to Shirley's divorced husband, Kenneth Hume, Finch insists she does not belong to him... " In 1985, Samantha, age 21, was found dead in the River Avon in Bristol, England. Bassey has always maintained that the death of her daughter was not a suicide.
    Also in 1968, at the Sanremo Festival in Italy, she performed "La vita", an Italian song by Bruno Canfora and Antonio Amurri, with some lyrics re-written in English by Norman Newell for her.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey's version of the song, with its chorus sung in Italian, became a Top 40 hit in Italy. Bassey recorded several songs in Italian, some appearing on the album La vita (1968). (Later, Newell would write English lyrics for the rest of "La vita", and the result was "This Is My Life".) But her UK sales continued to suffer.
    Bassey began to live as a tax exile in 1968, and was unable to work in Britain for almost two years.
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  • 1967
    Age 30
    One of her best-known singles, "Big Spender" was released in 1967, charting just short of the UK Top 20.
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  • 1966
    Age 29
    She had signed to United Artists, and her first album on that label, I've Got a Song for You (1966), spent one week on the chart; from 1966 to 1970, only two albums would chart, one of those a compilation.
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    In the aftermath of "Goldfinger" her UK sales started to falter as well: only two of her singles would enter the UK Top 40 from 1966 to 1970.
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  • 1965
    Age 28
    For her part, Bassey was named as co-respondent in 1965 when Finch's wife, South African actress Yolande Turner, divorced the actor.
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    Also in 1965, she sang the title song for the James Bond spoof The Liquidator, and had a Top 20 live album, recorded during a sold-out run at the Pigalle in London.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey recorded a song for the next Bond film, Thunderball (1965). "Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was not used in the movie, although the film's score follows its melodic theme. Written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse, after Bassey's version it was re-recorded by Dionne Warwick, and then rejected in favor of a new song, "Thunderball," hastily written by Barry and given to Tom Jones after the film's producers decided the song over the opening credits must feature the film's title. The "Goldfinger" theme song, however, had a lasting impact on her career. In the sleeve notes for Bassey's 25th Anniversary Album (1978), Peter Clayton noted that: "Acceptance in America was considerably helped by the enormous popularity of ("Goldfinger") But she had actually established herself there as early as 1961, in cabaret in New York. She was also a success in Las Vegas 'I suppose I should feel hurt that I've never been really big in America on record since "Goldfinger" But, concertwise, I always sell out.' " This was reflected in the fact that Bassey had only one solo LP reach the Top 20 in a US chart (R&B, Live at Carnegie Hall), and she was technically a one-hit wonder.
    Bassey enjoyed her only US Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1965 with the title song of the James Bond film, Goldfinger.
    More Details Hide Details The single, released in the United States during January 1965, peaked at No. 8, while the original soundtrack of Goldfinger hit No. 1 in the US that year.
  • 1963
    Age 26
    Bassey appeared on the cover of Ebony magazine in 1963, and sang at a Washington gala celebrating President Kennedy's second year in office.
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    Other UK Top 10 singles of the period included her second No. 1, the double A-side "Reach for the Stars"/"Climb Ev'ry Mountain" (1961), "I'll Get By" (also 1961), and a cover version of the Ben E. King hit "I (Who Have Nothing)" in 1963.
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  • 1961
    Age 24
    Bassey's first marriage was to Kenneth Hume in 1961. The couple separated in 1964 and divorced in 1965 in the wake of the singer's affair with actor Peter Finch.
    More Details Hide Details Bassey then announced to the press that she and Finch would not be marrying, telling the press, "It simply wouldn't work out. Just now I am not ready for marriage to anyone. I feel I have to be free." A year later, Hume sued the actor and another man, John McAuliffe, for being "indiscreet" with the singer. Both Finch and McAuliffe were cited as co-respondents in the Hume–Bassey divorce.
  • 1960
    Age 23
    Bassey made her American television début on 13 November 1960, when she performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.
    More Details Hide Details Her collaboration with Nelson Riddle and his orchestra, the album Let's Face the Music (1962), reached No. 12 in the UK album chart; and the single, "What Now My Love" made it to No. 5.
    Her 1960 recording of "As Long As He Needs Me" from Lionel Bart's Oliver! reached No. 2, and had a chart run of 30 weeks.
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  • 1958
    Age 21
    In mid-1958, she recorded two singles that would become classics in the Bassey catalogue. "As I Love You" was released as the B-side of another ballad, "Hands Across the Sea"; it did not sell well at first, but after an appearance at the London Palladium sales began to pick up.
    More Details Hide Details In January 1959, "As I Love You" reached No. 1 and stayed there for four weeks; it was the first No. 1 single by a Welsh artist. While "As I Love You" climbed the charts, so too did Bassey's recording of "Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me," and both records would end up occupying the Top 3 at the same time. A few months later, Bassey signed to EMI's Columbia label, and the second phase in her recording career had begun. In the early and mid-1960s, Bassey had numerous hits in the UK, and five albums in the Top 15.
  • 1957
    Age 20
    In 1957 she also recorded under the direction of American producer Mitch Miller in New York for the Columbia label, producing the single "If I Had a Needle and Thread" b/w "Tonight My Heart She Is Crying".
    More Details Hide Details She then made her American stage début in Las Vegas at El Rancho Vegas.
    More singles followed, and in February 1957, Bassey had her first hit with "The Banana Boat Song", which reached No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart.
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  • 1956
    Age 19
    During the show's run, Philips record producer Johnny Franz spotted her on television, was impressed, and offered her a recording deal. Bassey recorded her first single, "Burn My Candle", released in February 1956, when she was 19.
    More Details Hide Details Owing to the suggestive lyrics, the BBC banned it, but it sold well enough nonetheless, backed with her powerful rendition of "Stormy Weather".
  • 1955
    Age 18
    In 1955, a chance recommendation to Michael Sullivan and George Baines booking agents, put Bassey firmly on course for her destined career.
    More Details Hide Details They saw talent in her, and Michael Sullivan decided he would make her a star. She toured various theatres until she was seen by the impresario Jack Hylton. He invited her to feature in Al Read's Such Is Life at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End.
  • 1954
    Age 17
    She next took up a professional engagement in Hot from Harlem, which ran until 1954.
    More Details Hide Details By this time Bassey had become disenchanted with show business. Pregnant at 16 with her first child and unwilling to reveal the name of the child's father, she returned to waiting tables in Cardiff.
  • 1953
    Age 16
    In 1953, Bassey signed her first professional contract, to sing in the touring variety show Memories of Jolson, a musical based on the life of Al Jolson.
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  • 1937
    Age 0
    Born on January 8, 1937.
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