Riddle Me List: 4 Reasons Why Shirley Bassey Is Amazing

Monday, December 8, 2008

Every woman knows that they are a diva...and some express that rather loudly and clearly *ahem...the Audio Diva here!* That is where Dame Shirley Bassey comes in. The radiating diva of song has long been revered in her native UK (as she was knighted by the Queen herself) and has given some of the brassiest numbers in balladry ever since the 1950's. Miss Bassey is mostly known for her James Bond movie theme songs and for being one of the most viviacious performers you'll ever see in life. And then there is that voice...mi gosh, talk about some serious power! While I patiently wait for Shirley Bassey's life to be turned into a bio-pic (hopefully NOT starring Beyonce), here are four main reasons (aside from her voice) why you should soak up Miss Bassey's awesomeness.

1. Expressive Jazz Hands

Watch a Shirley Bassey performance and you've probably without awareness were mesmerized by her hand gestures. While some have cited that Bassey's performances are a tad over the top...she is still highly entertaining whether it'd be a sprawling ballad or Pink's remake of "Get The Party Started" (serious), Shirley knows how to entice her audience. And as a person who talks with her hands, Shirley is my "expressive hands" icon.

2. "I (Who Have Nothing)"

This is signature Shirley and by far the best ballad in her catalog. It's brooding, painstaking and just packs a serious punch, especially with Shirley's vocal acrobatics. American Idol's Jordin Sparks attempted a rendition of this on AI last season, and well to not be catty...it just wasn't up to snuff.

3. The Bond Theme Songs

Kind of a given, but Dame Bassey is the queen of Bond themes, as she is the only singer to have three themes to her name. Sure Madonna, Tina Turner and Sheena Easton have memorable themes, but Shirley's "Diamonds Are Forever", "Goldfinger" and "Moonraker" are Bond theme royalty. Okay, maybe "Moonraker" is kind of lousy...but "Goldfinger" is thunderous and "Diamonds Are Forever" is just enchantment. "Diamonds" got a life breathed back into it when, Kanye West sampled her vocals heavily on his "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" track.

4. This performance of "Big Spender"

Shirley has a hell of a fun time performing a song from the musical, Sweet Charity and well, there's some ass slapping, jumping and for the men...a close up of her signature backless dress...cheeky and fierce!

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