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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 06:59 GMT
Dame Shirley's 70th celebrations
Dame Shirley Bassey ( Picture William Garrett)

International star Dame Shirley Bassey - one of Wales' most famous daughters - is celebrating her 70th birthday.

Born in Cardiff's old docklands, Shirley Veronica Bassey was the seventh child of Henry and Eliza Bassey.

She is the only singer to have recorded more than one James Bond theme song - including Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

Dame Shirley is officially "on holiday" for her 70th but a spokesperson said she has a new single out in February.

This song, The Living Tree, has been performed by Dame Shirley on ITV's Another Audience With and throughout her recent UK tour.

Dame Shirley Bassey was born in the area of Cardiff known as Tiger Bay - a multi-ethnic, working class community.

Her father Henry was a seaman of Nigerian ancestry and mother Eliza from northern England.

She was spotted singing in local clubs as a teenager, leading to a career in showbusiness which has spanned more than 50 years.

Shirley Bassey in Welsh flag-style dress
Back home in a patriotic dress for a concert of Welsh voices in 1999

Recording the James Bond theme Goldfinger in 1964 hurtled an already successful performer further into the public eye and led to two more movie theme blockbusters in the 1970s Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

A period largely out of the public eye followed in the 1980s but in the late 1990s she stormed back with History Repeating, a collaboration with Bath's Propellerheads.

Although she now lives in Monte Carlo, Dame Shirley has maintained her links with Wales and - despite, once famously saying she did not want to be appearing on stage with a walking stick - still regularly performs.

She topped the bill at the opening of the Welsh assembly in 1999, and dueted the anthem World In Union with Bryn Terfel for the Rugby World Cup in 2000, the year she was made a dame at Buckingham Palace.

In August 2006 she also appeared at Terfel's annual Faenol Festival in north Wales and more recently in a Bond-style Christmas commercial for a High Street retailer.

In pictures: Dame Shirley Bassey
08 Jan 07 |  In Pictures
Westlife sell out at 'Bryn-fest'
27 Aug 06 |  North West Wales
Terfel's Faenol set to grow again
13 Jul 06 |  North West Wales
Bassey dazzles festival crowd
13 Jul 03 |  North East Wales


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