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Shirley Bassey Facts

Shirley Bassey: The Queen of Soul

Shirley Bassey is a legendary singer whose unmistakable voice has earned her worldwide fame and numerous accolades throughout her career. From her humble beginnings to her chart-topping hits, let’s take a closer look at the life and career of this musical icon.

Singer’s Bio

Shirley Bassey was born on January 8, 1937, in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales. She was the youngest of seven children in a Nigerian-English family. Bassey grew up in poverty, and her mother struggled to provide for her family as a seamstress.

Despite her humble beginnings, Bassey’s singing talent did not go unnoticed. She won a local talent contest when she was just 14 years old, and soon after, she began performing at clubs in the local area.

Age

Shirley Bassey is currently 84 years old. She was born on January 8, 1937.

Relationships

Bassey was married twice in her life. Her first marriage was to Kenneth Hume, a film director, in 1961. The couple had two children together, a son named Mark and a daughter named Samantha. They divorced in 1965.

Her second marriage was to Sergio Novak, a fashion designer, in 1968. They remained married until Novak’s death in 2006.

Children

Shirley Bassey has two children, a son named Mark and a daughter named Samantha. They were both born during her first marriage to Kenneth Hume.

Height

Shirley Bassey stands at a height of 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm).

Career

Bassey’s music career began in the late 1950s, and she had her first hit song in 1959 with “Banana Boat Song”. Over the course of her career, she has released over 40 albums and sold more than 135 million records worldwide.

Bassey is known for her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence. She has performed at some of the world’s most famous venues, including the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with notable musicians such as The Beatles and Neil Diamond.

Top Songs

Shirley Bassey has had numerous hit songs throughout her career, but some of her most beloved tunes include:

– “Goldfinger”
– “Diamonds Are Forever”
– “Big Spender”
– “I Who Have Nothing”
– “As Long as He Needs Me”
– “Never Never Never”
– “Get the Party Started”

Net Worth

Shirley Bassey’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million.

FAQs

What was Shirley Bassey’s breakthrough song?

Shirley Bassey’s breakthrough song was “Goldfinger”, the theme song from the James Bond film of the same name. The song was released in 1964 and became a massive hit, reaching the top 10 on the charts in both the UK and the US.

How many James Bond theme songs did Shirley Bassey sing?

Shirley Bassey sang three James Bond theme songs: “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979). Her powerful vocals and commanding stage presence helped make these songs some of the most iconic in the James Bond franchise.

Who influenced Shirley Bassey’s music?

Shirley Bassey counts numerous musical influences, including the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Judy Garland. She has also cited her mother’s love of music and her own experiences growing up in Cardiff as sources of inspiration for her music.

Did Shirley Bassey ever act in films or on television?

Yes, Shirley Bassey has appeared in several films and television shows throughout her career. Some of her notable roles include playing herself in the film The Liquidator (1965) and a guest appearance on the TV show The Muppet Show in 1976.

What is Shirley Bassey’s vocal range?

Shirley Bassey has a powerful and versatile vocal range that spans three octaves. Her ability to hit notes in the soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto ranges give her a unique and distinctive sound that has captivated audiences for decades.

Has Shirley Bassey won any awards for her music?

Yes, Shirley Bassey has won numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. She has been awarded three Grammy Awards, a Brit Award, and a Kennedy Center Honor, among others.

Was there ever a Shirley Bassey biopic made?

There has not been an official biopic made about Shirley Bassey, although her life has been the subject of several documentaries and TV specials.

Does Shirley Bassey still perform live?

Yes, Shirley Bassey continues to perform live and has a loyal fan base worldwide. Her most recent album, “I Owe It All to You”, was released in 2020, and she has been known to perform at concerts and special events.

What kind of charities does Shirley Bassey support?

Shirley Bassey has supported numerous charities throughout her career, including Cancer Research UK, the Princes Trust, and the British Heart Foundation. She has also been involved in humanitarian efforts, such as supporting the against landmines campaign in Europe.

Was Shirley Bassey ever knighted?

No, Shirley Bassey has not been knighted by the queen. However, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000 for her services to the performing arts.

What is Shirley Bassey’s most recognizable feature?

One of Shirley Bassey’s most recognizable features is her distinctive hairstyle, which often features a bouffant or beehive-style hairdo. She has also been known to wear colorful and glamorous outfits on stage, adding to her iconic image.

What was Shirley Bassey’s first professional recording?

Shirley Bassey’s first professional recording was the single “Burn My Candle (At Both Ends)” which was released in 1956 when she was 19 years old. The song caused controversy due to its suggestive lyrics but nonetheless helped establish Bassey as a talented young performer.

What is Shirley Bassey’s signature song?

Shirley Bassey’s signature song is “Goldfinger”, the theme song from the James Bond film of the same name. Her powerful and emotive vocals on the song helped make it one of the most iconic and memorable James Bond themes of all time.

Did Shirley Bassey have any nicknames?

Yes, Shirley Bassey had several nicknames throughout her career, including “The Bassey Belter” and “The Queen of the Double Entendre”. These nicknames reflect her powerful vocals and her ability to imbue her songs with emotional depth and humor.

Did Shirley Bassey ever perform at the Royal Variety Performance?

Yes, Shirley Bassey has performed at the Royal Variety Performance multiple times throughout her career. Her most recent appearance was in 2016, when she performed a medley of her greatest hits.

What is Shirley Bassey’s legacy in the music industry?

Shirley Bassey’s legacy in the music industry is one of enduring talent and influence. Her powerful vocals, distinctive style, and dynamic stage presence have inspired countless musicians and fans around the world, making her a true musical icon.

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