Wednesday, March 3, 1999 Published at 14:55 GMT
Queen joins mourning for Dusty
Dusty Springfield was awarded an OBE in January
The Queen has joined in the mourning for singer Dusty Springfield who has lost her battle against breast cancer.
The Queen said she was "saddened" by the singer's death so soon after bestowing an OBE for her services to the music industry.
The award was made in the New Year's Honours List but Dusty was too ill to collect her prize in person and died at her home in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire on Tuesday.
"She was great. We'll all miss her a great deal."
"I called her at home, and she was devastated, absolutely devastated. Even though she knew Dusty was ill, she can't take the news in.
"They were friends for more than 30 years and on Cilla's last album, she did a duet with Dusty," she said.
"She had an absolutely distinctive voice and was one of the best singers Britain has ever produced.
"It is a sad, sad loss to the music world."
The 59-year-old performer was first diagnosed with cancer in 1994.
Dusty wanted to 'go out in style'
"She was a great fighter. Even before the illness she was one of the most stubborn people I have met in my life, but her attitude to the cancer was `I'm going to beat this'."
Mr Gill has been working on a Dusty Springfield tribute four-CD box set which will be released at the end of the year.
"It was done with Dusty's full knowledge and her blessing when she knew she was dying. She said `Tell Mike to get things organised. I want to go out with a bit of style'."
Nineties revival for sixties icon
She originally found fame with her brothers Tom and Tim Field in a folk trio, The Springfields. Her first song was the Motown-influenced I Only Want To Be With You, which was also the first song to be played on the UK chart show Top of the Pops.
Other hits followed, including You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, and Son Of A Preacher Man - given a new lease of life by the 1994 film Pulp Fiction.
Her career declined in the 1970s but in 1987 she was rediscovered by the Pet Shop Boys - and their collaboration What Have I Done To Deserve This? reached No 2 in the charts. She subsequently became a popular icon in the gay community.
She continued to record after being diagnosed with cancer, making her most recent album A Very Fine Love in 1995.
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