Shirley Bassey – a gilded talent tinged with sadness


Shirley Bassey, the powerful Welsh voice of the movie Goldfinger and two other Bond themes is still going strong as she dots between Monte Carlo and London. She was born in the Tiger Bay, Cardiff, on January 8, 1937, maybe 9 am, the youngest of seven children. She grew up in poverty as her Nigerian father was imprisoned for under age sex when she was a baby and deported. She left school at 14 to work in a factory and sang in pubs, then got pregnant, resuming her career after leaving her daughter Sharon with a sister. Sharon only discovered Shirley was her mother when she was nine, by which time another daughter Samantha had arrived, perhaps the product of an affair with actor Peter Finch. Shirley’s two marriages ended in divorce and Samantha drowned in her twenties, either by accident or suicide and some said by murder.

Shirley has an ambitious, earthy Capricorn Sun and Jupiter with probably an intense Scorpio Moon. Her supercharged voice and indeed her volatile diva’s temperament come from Mercury in Aquarius opposition Pluto square Mars in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus. She did nothing by halves and would either flare up or push relentlessly until she got what she wanted. Her Venus is in sensitive, musical Pisces. As is her regretful-about-the-past Saturn in a creative opposition to Neptune square North Node in Sagittarius.

Her creative 5th and 7th Harmonics were strong as was her superstar 22H. Not an easy lady or an uncomplicated life but she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and made a success of her career if not her personal life.

3 thoughts on “Shirley Bassey – a gilded talent tinged with sadness

  1. THANK YOU, Marjorie. Very revealing re the superb Ms. Bassey. The Welsh seem to have something of a monopoly on big, powerful singing voices, Tom Jones being another of many examples. Must be something in the water (beer?). Years ago I visited Wales and was privileged to have been in a small audience of Americans raptly listening to a local men’s choir singing the Star Spangled Banner in our honor. Their huge, rich voices soared to the rafters….it was thrilling, unforgettable. We still had goosebumps by the end of the evening. I get goosebumps whenever I hear Bassey sing.

  2. I used to study her a lot when I was serious about singing. What’s stunning about her is that from singing point of view, she doesn’t have what’s usually considered a good microphone voice. She seems to be naturally loud and brassy, and this is sometimes very hard to catch. But she makes this work on her repertoire. Also, one of the best breath controls in the business, there with Frank Sinatra and Italian legend Mina Mazzini who just turned 80 and still records. Although lungs are Gemini ruled, I think this is Scorpio Mars giving her physical stamina.

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