Dame Shirley Bassey, DBE (born 8 January 1937), is a Welsh singer. She found fame in the late 1950s and was "one of the most popular female vocalists in Britain during the last half of the 20th century". In the US, in particular, she is best known for recording the theme songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Moonraker (1979), and is a UNESCO Artist for Peace.
"Born above a brothel in a docklands slum", Shirley Veronica Bassey was the sixth and last child of Eliza Jane Start and Henry Bassey in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales (now called Cardiff Bay), of paternal Nigerian and maternal English descent. Bassey's mother also had four children from previous relationships, two of whom lived in the Bassey household. Eliza had married previously, to Alfred Metcalfe, and upon her marriage to Bassey, Eliza Jane Metcalfe listed Alfred Metcalfe as her father on the marriage registry. It has thus been theorized that she never divorced Alfred, and that her marriage to Bassey was bigamous. Eliza and Henry's second child died in infancy, so Shirley was born into a household of three sisters, two half-sisters, and one brother. A year later her father was arrested and charged with having sex with a minor, was tried, imprisoned for five years, and then deported. After Henry's arrest, Eliza and the children moved to the nearby steelworking district of Splott.