Dame Shirley has never been afraid to speak her mind, and has become one of the most quotable artists in show business. Here are some of her most memorable remarks:

“You can’t have success without pain and sacrifice.”

“I’ve always been the breadwinner, and men don’t like that.”

“My songs are part of my own personal history. But that’s it – they’re history. I can’t take the present on stage.”

“I tell my life in songs – the joys, pain, guilt, they all go into my performance. It’s my autobiography up there.”

“Somebody wrote an unauthorised biography of me. I read the first page and never picked it up again.”

“I’m a gypsy, I love travelling. I love living out of a suitcase. I love hotels – as long as they’re five-star hotels.”

“Why do I live in Monte Carlo? It’s the only place I know where you can walk around with your jewels on.”

“I am constantly at odds with myself, thinking I should be poised and glamorous and self-assured. Then I think I should be relaxing and saying to hell with everybody. I’m confused. I still haven’t figured out exactly how I should be playing Shirley Bassey.”

“Just when I’m thinking of taking it easy, something magical happens and off we go again.”

(From the 50th Anniversary Tour programme) 

Le Grand Echiquier 11


The next instalment in this delightful, refined programme.

Shirley seems at home in the company of other gifted musicians.

You rarely see TV chat shows like this in the UK or the USA.

Part 11 Songs: I Could Have Danced All Night & The Rhythm Divine


Photo from Astrid

Video, as always, from Pieter


50th Anniversary programme


Scanned from the concert tour programme – An early TV show