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Music icon Dame Shirley Bassey celebrated with stamp collection

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

The legendary Dame Shirley Bassey is being honoured by the Royal Mail with a collection of 12 stamps to mark 70 years since the beginning of her extraordinary career.

Bassey is famed for her signature James Bond film theme tunes such as Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever, and her number 1 singles As I Love You and Reach for the Stars.

She will now join other major solo artists David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John to have a stamp collection published due to their contribution to music.

Eight of the stamps  capture some of her most memorable performances chronologically from the Pigalle nightclub back in 1965 and Bournemouth in 1974, to performing during the Oscars held at the Dolby Theatre in  Hollywood in 2013.

The remaining four show pictures taken from recording studios during her remarkable career.

Bassey’s climb to stardom

Bassey was born in Tiger Bay in Cardiff in 1937, she began touring theatres and revues until she signed a record deal with Philips, where she then scored the number one hit As I Love You in 1959.

When the swinging sixties arrived she became an intentional star, where she worked with film composer John Barry to produce her iconic Bond film songs.

In the latter part of her career, she has remained popular with older and younger audiences alike.

Bassey performed the official song for the 1999 Rugby World Cup with Bryn Terfel, and was a headline act at Glastonbury eight years later.

She was also awarded a CBE in 1994 and then a DBE in 1999.

Bassey ‘thrilled’

Bassey said: “I am absolutely thrilled and would never have dreamed that one day my face would be on a stamp, that one day a letter might arrive and there I am, with a postmark next to me.

“It’s an absolute honour to be the first solo female artist to receive a collection from Royal Mail. The stamps are wonderful, and I hope my fans and collectors love them as much as I do.”

David Gold, the director of external affairs and policy said: “For seven decades, Dame Shirley Bassey has captivated fans across the world with her distinctive and powerful voice. This stamp issue is a fitting celebration of one of the UK’s most revered and longest serving musical icons.”

From today, the stamps are available on pre-order at and by telephone on 03457 641 641.

Also a commemorative presentation pack including all 12 stamps in the set is available priced at £19.50. The stamps go on general sale on 21 September.