Black Celebrity: Shirley Bassey

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A world-famous singer with a big voice and a glamorous reputation, Shirley Bassey has recorded numerous hits, including three James Bond theme songs. She found fame in the mid-1950s and has been called “one of the most popular female vocalists in Britain during the last half of the 20th century”.

Shirley Bassey was born on January 8, 1937, in Cardiff, Wales. A singer since childhood, Bassey’s bold voice, along with her perseverance, helped her move beyond her impoverished upbringing. Of mixed-race heritage (with an English mother and a Nigerian father), Bassey reached a level of international acclaim that few other black British performers had seen before her.

She recorded numerous hits throughout her career, including the theme songs for three James Bond films: GoldfingerDiamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.





Enjoy Ms. Bassey as she sings Diamonds Are Forever: