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Shirley Bassey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 8 January 1937Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Birth NameShirley Veronica Bassey
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Shirley Bassey was born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, and raised in the nearby working class neighborhood of Splott. Her mother was originally from Yorkshire, and her father was a Nigerian seaman who left the family when she was less than two. She later helped to support her family by working in an Enamelware factory. She made her professional debut at 16 appearing in a touring revue "Memories of Al Jolson". Her first major hit was "The Banana Boat Song," and she later sang "Goldfinger" in the James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964). Her younger daughter died of drowning in 1985. She currently lives in Monte Carlo.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mike McKinley <alovelyway@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

Sergio Novak (12 August 1968 - 1977) (divorced) (1 child)
Kenneth Hume (June 1961 - 25 February 1965) (divorced)

Trivia (18)

She was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2000 Queen's Millennium Honors List for her services to entertainment.
She returned to the UK top 40 with the The Propellerheads on the hit single "History Repeating" in 1997 after an absence from the UK singles chart for 24 years.
She recorded the single "There's No Place Like London" written by Lynsey de Paul and Gerard Kenny.
Sang Perry Como's song "And I Love You So" at the wedding of Joan Collins and Percy Gibson.
She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1994 Queen's New Year Honours List for her services to entertainment.
Her daughter Sharon was born in September, 1954. Shirley's sister raised her until she was nine. This caused a scandal when the public found out.
Her father was Nigerian. She never knew him.
Daughter Samantha was born in 1963. She drowned in 1985, after falling into the River Avon from The Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol. Bassey has always maintained that her daughter did not commit suicide.
Her first husband, Kenneth Hume, was openly homosexual and denied fathering any of her children born during their marriage.
Daughter Sharon has 4 sons.
Her son, Mark, is her niece's biological son. She and her second husband adopted him in 1971. She also has two daughters with fathers she refuses to name.
Sang the theme songs for three of the James Bond movies -- more than any other performer. Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Moonraker (1979). "Goldfinger" reached the #8 position on the Billboard Top 40 chart in February of 1965.
Winner, in 1977, of BRIT award for Best British Female Solo Artist of the previous 25 years (1977 awards commemorated the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth).
She and Tom Jones are the only two Welsh artists (as of 2007) to have sung title songs from the James Bond series of movies.
Her favorite songs are "Fever" by Peggy Lee, "The Wonder of You" by Elvis Presley, "Back To Black" by Amy Winehouse, "Have I Told You Lately" by Rod Stewart, "Saturday Night Fever" by The Bee Gees, "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra, "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner, "The Man That Got Away" by Judy Garland and "All By Myself" by Céline Dion.
Had a charity auction at Christies in 2003. "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 Appeal. Swarovski purchased a number of significant lots to display them at Crystal Worlds Museum in Austria.
Auctioned off the contents of her London flat, with proceeds going to charity. She now lives in Monaco. [June 2005]
Her surprise performance of "Goldfinger" at the 85th Annual Academy Awards, commemorating 50 years of James Bond films brought the house down. Bassey received a two minute standing ovation following her performance, more than any other performer that evening.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on being awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the the British Empire] I was asleep and my manager came to wake me up because we were going out that night. I didn't feel like getting up and I said. "Go away, let me sleep". Just as I was going back to sleep he said, "You wouldn't get up even for Damehood?" I had to keep quiet for seven weeks. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. I was afraid to go out in case I told someone - my social life was nil.

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