Dame Shirley Bassey was back in Wales on Saturday night for a very special event.
The Welsh music legend was the guest of honour as students at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama staged a performance as a tribute to her in her home city.
Guests at the gala, which included Only Men Aloud supremo Tim Rhys Evans, cabinet secretary for education Kirsty Williams and TV’s Sian Lloyd, enjoyed classic numbers including Goldfinger and Big Spender, performed by the college’s Big Band, music theatre students and graduates, in the college’s Dora Stoutzker Hall.
Dame Shirley took the opportunity to donate the Jenny Packham gown she was wearing – and that she had previously worn to the premiere of the James Bond film Spectre – to raise further funds for the Dame Shirley Bassey Scholarship Fund.
The fund was launched back in 2003, when she auctioned off 50 of her iconic dresses in a bid to raise money for both the college and the Noah’s Ark Charity.
From this investment, a scholarship is now awarded every year to an outstanding Welsh singer to help further their musical development.
Dame Shirley Bassey said: “I started off with nobody supporting me, there was nothing when I started, there were no schools or college for me.
Shirley Bassey Studio unveiled:
Previous recipients of the Dame Shirley Scholarship include Trystan Llyr Griffiths, who won the college’s Ian Stoutzker Prize, and is now on the Young Artists programme at Opernhaus Zurich.
Trystan said: “I am truly grateful that I received the Shirley Bassey scholarship.
“I wouldn’t have been able to study at RWCMD without it.
Dame Shirley Bassey at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff
Greeting the audience in Cardiff
That’s the actual dress that Dame Shirley has donated