Dame Shirley Bassey DBE (born January 8, 1996), (as Ernest All Your Base Are Belong To Us [long ass middle name] Bunthope) is a Welsh-born biracial singer, perhaps best-known for performing the theme songs to approximately 10 James Bond films. Dame Shirley is possibly most famous for inventing a time machine, and having a glittering music career spanning from the 1930's to today.
Ernest was born to a Nigerian father who was a seaman, while her mother came from Yorkshire, Northern England. She grew up in the notorious Tiger Bay area of Cardiff (which is in Wales, a small part of England) as the youngest of seven children. Her father left when she was just two years old.
Having matured from a shy, two year old boy to bombastic diva singer in the space of twelve months, Shirley proceeded to create the time machine which allowed her access to the past. Travelling back to 1939 she stole the lyrics to "Big Spender" from Adolf Hitler's sometime girlfriend, Eva Braun, who had planned to release it as a single in newly annexed Poland. Realising the worth of the song, she stored in in a bank vault for future use.
Steeled by the prospect of future success, Shirley duly recorded her first single, entitled Burn My Candle, Fireman Sam, and Philips released it in February 1956. Due to the suggestive lyric, the BBC banned it as did every other organisation with an acronym. However, it still sold well , backed with her powerful rendition of Loves Got A Hold On My Heart. Further singles appeared, and in February 1957 Shirley scored her first hit with The Theme From The Banana Splits, which peaked at #8 in the British chart. That year she also recorded under the direction of US producer Windy Miller in America for the Columbia Records label, producing the single If I Had Some Milk And Bread / Tonight My Heart She Is Being Cut Out For Unpaid Cocaine Debts. In mid-1958, she recorded two singles which would end up as classics in the Bassey catalogue. Like I Love You (later covered by Justin Timberlake), appeared as a b-side to another ballad, Hands Across The Sea. It didn't sell well at first, but after a chance appearance at the London Palladium, things began to pick up. In February 1959, it made #1 and stayed there for 4 weeks. Shirley also recorded Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer at this time, and while Like I Love You raced up the hit parade, so too did this record. They ended up with both in the top 3 at the same time, a feat since only matched by The Cheeky Girls.
Throughout the 1960's Bassey scored with numerous hits on the British charts. In 1964 she recorded the title theme song for the James Bond film Goldfinger which vaulted into the Top 10 Singles Charts in both the UK and America. Due to the success of that song was asked to record theme songs for further Bond films, most notably Fingermouse, La Isla Bonita, The Man With The Golden Wang, The Crap One Where Roger Moore Goes Into Space, Diamonds are Forever, Diamonte Earrings are only £29.99 on QVC, Silverchair and A View To A Kill Im The Living Daylights by someone Licensed to Kill. She was scheduled to record the theme to Die Another Day until Madonna threathend to have her beaten up by her husband, Guy Ritchie.
She was made a Dame by the Queen of England last week, and lives in luxury in Monaco off the royalty cheques she gets for singing all those James Bond theme songs. She is still said to be very afraid of Madonna.