In the year 2000 Dame Shirley Bassey performed at a private party for Dutch entrepreneurs. Here is a short video of that performance. (Special thanks to Rien) For the video CLICK HERE
Shirley Bassey in Tears After Dutch Ovation
Information From Dutch Newspaper De Telegraaf, Sep 19 2000
Dame Shirley Bassey appeared at the Flying Doctors Gala in Monte Carlo’s Sporting Club, a special gala-occasion for the Dutch Flying Doctors. Before she could sing a note she got a standing ovation by the 900 Dutch guests, including Margherite De Bourbon Parma, the daughter of princess Irene. The reception was so overwhelming for Shirley Bassey that she was brought to tears before she started. She said: “It seemed as though I had sung my last song, so strong was the welcome applause.” It seems that this put her in such a right mood that she sang “the stars from the sky”. At the time of her final song the sliding roof opened and gave view on the starry night sky and while she walked off the stage a tremendous firework lit the sky.
I’m A Better Grandmother Than Mother
Shirley Bassey has to live with an enormous feeling of guilt.
She has the legs that would a twenty year old person drive jealous. Shirley Bassey; a world star, grandmother of four grandsons and one granddaughter and inhabitant of Monaco. She works very hard to keep in good shape. Just before she put the 900 mainly Dutch guests of the spectacular Flying Doctors Gala in Monte Carlo really on fire, she finished her daily routine of two hours of fitness and one hour of vocal training. “Really a top performance” qualifies the 63 years old diva just after the show. “I was even more touched than the audience. It’s been some time that I was greeted with a standing ovation. This gives me the power to go on for another ten years…”
“I’m a better grandmother than a mother”, says Shirley Bassey while she is in her dressing room of the world-famous Sporting Club in Monaco carefully placing the photographs of her four grandsons – the youngest is 5, the oldest 21. After the last rehearsal for the Gala that evening she has some time free for Privé during the afternoon. Dame Shirley, as she is now officially known since she is knighted by QUEEN ELISABETH, speaks in a very relaxed manner.
“The more successful you are, the worse your private life gets. My daughters Sharon and Samantha and my adopted son Mark always used to cry very hard when the suitcases stood ready in the hall: mama was leaving again. I was lived, sometimes I read in the newspapers that next week I had to perform on the other side of the world. It still gives me an enormous feeling of guilt. If I just see now how Sharon is there for her children. But it also has to do with the men. I’ve been married twice. And both my husbands became my manager. I took financially care of them. And that was maybe the wrong way to start things off.”
Shirley Veronica Bassey did not have a happy private life. She was discovered as an sixteen year old singing in a revue in Cardiff, within a month she got a record-deal, scored a hit and left, as she says herself, on tour “for the rest of my life”. A year later she became pregnant and gave birth to her daughter Sharon (now 46).
Her first husband Kenneth Hume committed suicide just after their divorce in 1965. Her son Mark whom she adopted with her second husband doesn’t want to know her anymore. Her daughter Samantha committed suicide in 1985 by throwing herself of a bridge in Bristol. Samantha was then 22 years old. After that Shirley couldn’t sing for six years, but made her comeback with This is my life.
Monaco is now the new home to Dame Shirley Bassey. “Here I find my peace between the tours”, she says. “I just got back from a big tour through America and some performances in Scotland. The nicest thing about Monaco is that nobody bothers you at all. In August I had all my four grandsons over for a visit. I could sit just undisturbed on the beach, that’s great. I live in a big apartment and enjoy the quietness of it. Just relaxing on the sofa watching a soap or a cooking show on the telly, and cooking for myself: spaghetti, curry with rice and salmon.” She grins: “They say that I’m a spoiled superstar and maybe I might have been that sometimes, but now for instance I haven’t even drunk any champagne for a month. In Monaco I like being just myself.” There have been all kind of rumours about stopping with performing. “Ah, merely gossip”, reacts the diva Shirley Bassey laconically. “I don’t train for nothing every day so hard to keep in good shape. Two hours running, stepping, power lifting and Yoga to top it all. There has just been released a remix of my old numbers and a dance-album of my songs and that album is a huge success in France, Germany, Spain and also in America. So that means plenty of performing. Furthermore, I’m recording a Christmas-album and we are looking for new material for a really new album. I listen to Italian material, because those songs fit my voice very well if they’re translated.”