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Music / Shirley Bassey

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He's the man, the man with the Midas touch,
A spider's touch.
Such a cold finger,
Beckons you to enter his web of sin,
But don't go in.

Dame Shirley Veronica Bassey DBE (born 8 January 1937) is a Welsh singer of Nigerian and English descent, affectionately and spooneristically referred to as "Burly Chassis". Her career spans more than sixty years, and she has a powerful and very distinctive voice that is instantly recognisable - nobody sounds exactly like her, but you can immediately tell when they're trying to.

Bassey is particularly noted for being the only person to have sung more than one of the James Bond Title Theme Tunes, including the themes for Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, and the original themes for Thunderball ("Mr Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang") and Quantum of Solace ("No Good About Goodbye") before the studio decided to go with Tom Jones and Jack White/Alicia Keys respectively.

Her other famous songs include:

  • "Big Spender" ("Hey, Big Spender!")
  • "As Long As He Needs Me" (From Oliver!)
  • "History Repeating" (a collaboration with Propellerheads)
  • Believe it or not, a cover of "Get The Party Started" (even included on Dancing On Ice)
  • "Jezahel" (later sampled by Public Enemy for "Harder Than You Think")

Bassey's singing style, the singing equivalent of Chewing the Scenery, has been much imitated:


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