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Friday, March 12, 1999 Published at 17:14 GMT


Fans' farewell to Dusty

Dusty Springfield's coffin was carried through the centre of Henley

Hundreds of fans joined friends and celebrities at the funeral of singer Dusty Springfield, who died of breast cancer last week.

The pop icon was remembered at a service near her home in the Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames.

Nick Higham reports: "Her last journey was in style"
Her brother Tom joined family, friends. and showbusiness colleagues at St Mary The Virgin Church.

A live video-link relayed the service to fans gathered outside - many of whom travelled from across the UK.

One of Ms Springfield's most poignant hits, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, played as her coffin was brought into the church. It had been carried through Henley by a horse-drawn carriage.

Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant addressed the congregation, as did Elvis Costello and her 1960s contemporary, Lulu.

A heart-shaped bouquet from Elton John and flowers from Cilla Black were among tributes left at the church door. Tom Jones and Rod Stewart also sent bouquets.

Ms Springfield will be cremated, with her ashes scattered at "a favourite place" in Ireland.

'She was powerful - yet vulnerable'

[ image: Fans gathered outside the church for the service]
Fans gathered outside the church for the service
Lulu told the congregation how she had always looked up to Ms Springfield.

"Dusty was the first one to demonstrate girl power. She was a real powerful force but yet she was shy. She was very vulnerable. She drew me close to her.

"She had tremendous courage and she bared her soul to the whole world. I say now that she and her gift have returned to Heaven. She had such a great spirit that it will never die and will never disappear."

Neil Tennant called her "the very essence of fabness", while Elvis Costello read a note from legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach.

It said: "You could hear just three notes and you knew it was Dusty. It was such a rare and beautiful voice. I just want to add my thanks for every beautiful note Dusty sang."

Sixties singer to nineties icon

[ image: Dusty Springfield: Honoured by the Queen before her death]
Dusty Springfield: Honoured by the Queen before her death
Known as the white Queen of Soul, Dusty Springfield was most famous for her 1960s hits Son of A Preacher Man, I Only Want To Be With You and You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.

After a lull in her career in the 1970s, she enjoyed renewed success with the Pet Shop Boys' What Have I Done To Deserve This? in 1987. The single was a world-wide hit and brought Dusty Springfield to a whole new generation of fans.

She was given an OBE in the New Year's Honours List while she was in the final stages of her battle with cancer.

When she heard of the award, she said: "I'm deeply and genuinely honoured. This is the biggest surprise of my life."

Dusty Springfield will be inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week in a ceremony hosted by Elton John - one of her biggest fans.

A tribute CD box-set of her songs is due to be released at the end of the year.

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