Dame Shirley Bassey is to be given the freedom of her home city of Cardiff.
The Welsh music legend, 82, will be made an honorary freewoman of the city and county of Cardif’ at a ceremony at City Hall on May 17 (From Wales online).
The ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ singer will receive the award in honour of her career in music which spans seven decades.
Dame Shirley, who was born in Tiger Bay, Butetown, and grew up in Splott, had her first number one single in 1959 and became one of the most popular singers in the world.
She recorded theme songs to three James Bond Films – Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.
A cultural icon, she has won dozens of awards for her lifetime achievements and has sold around 135million records.
Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “With a remarkable career spanning over seven decades, Dame Shirley is undoubtedly one of Wales’ greatest exports.
“Presenting her with the honour of Freedom of the City, not only recognises her contribution to music but also acknowledges her continued support for the Welsh arts and her committed patronage to local charity, Noah’s Ark.
“Recognised as an international superstar, Dame Shirley has remained proud of her Cardiff roots and Welsh heritage. To name her as an honorary Freewoman of the City, celebrates her links to the city whilst expressing Cardiff’s pride for all that she has achieved.”
The ceremony on Friday will begin at 1pm.
On arrival Dame Shirley will be greeted by 12 year old Mia Lloyd from Ceredigion.
Mia spent almost a year receiving treatment at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales for a rare type of cancer and in November 2017, she underwent an operation to amputate part of her left leg.
Mia is the first ever young ambassador for the Noah’s Ark Charity and has raised thousands of pounds and represented the charity at various events.
Music will be provided by a choir from Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Music Service and a fanfare will be provided by trumpeters from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Noah’s Ark Charity director, Suzanne Mainwaring, said: “A legend in the world of show business, Dame Shirley has proved loyal to her roots and has championed Wales, Cardiff and her charities all over the world. We are deeply honoured to have her patronage and loyal support.
“She is a true member of our Noah’s Ark Family and we are delighted that she has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Cardiff, the highest honour the city can bestow on any individual. We look forward to celebrating with Dame Shirley at the Noah’s Ark Charity Spring Ball on the evening of Friday May 17.”
City Hall will play host to the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Dianne Rees’ S pring Ball, on behalf of the Noah’s Ark Charity later that day.
Dame Shirley Bassey DBE is invited as a special guest at the event which will be hosted by Gethin Jones and feature entertainment from some of Wales’ finest performers, including Only Men Aloud, Catrin Finch and Suzanne Packer.