Shirley Bassey was unable to sing following the tragic death of her daughter: ‘Nothing came out.’
DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY admitted in a throwback interview that she couldn’t sing for six months after her daughter died.
As the legendary Welsh singer celebrates her 85th birthday tonight, BBC Two will broadcast ‘Shirley Bassey at the BBC’ from 8:10pm, featuring a compilation of Dame Shirley’s performances from across her seven decades in show business, with the star having first performed as a teenager in the early 1950s.
With ‘As I Love You,’ Dame Shirley became the first Welsh person to have a number one single in the UK.
In the 1960s and 1970s, she rose to international prominence by recording the theme songs for James Bond films Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker.
Dame Shirley’s expressive voice, however, failed her after the death of her daughter.
Samantha Novak, age 21, was discovered dead in the River Avon near the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol in 1985.
Dame Shirley, who has always maintained that Samantha’s death was neither an accident nor a suicide, returned to performing only a week after Samantha’s death.
The singer told BBC’s David Walliams that the loss had been “just devastating,” and that she had decided to perform because she didn’t know what else to do.
“It was just devastating,” said Dame Shirley.
I returned home, and after a week of solitude, I awoke one morning and declared, “I have to go back on stage, this is killing me.”
“I’m not sure what I would have done if I had been in that situation.”
“Then there was the show, and I walked onto the stage, opened my mouth to sing Goldfinger, and nothing came out.”
“Rather than staying at home and grieving and getting it out of my system, I was singing it [grief]through the songs, and I was probably not breathing in the right places and panicking.”
The legendary singer then paid tribute to her vocal coach, who helped her reclaim her career by strengthening her vocal cords.
“I couldn’t sing at all for six months,” Dame Shirley explained.
“Then there was Helena Shenel, who I owe a huge debt of gratitude to.
“News from the Brinkwire.”