Dame Shirley Bassey, the 87-year-old Welsh singer, recently received the honour of becoming a Companion of Honour in the New Year Honours list for her contributions to music. She shared that meeting the King and receiving the award was more nerve-racking than singing in front of him, a new experience for her. Despite forgetting to curtsy, she instinctively grabbed his hands and exchanged well wishes with him.

During the ceremony, the King complimented her on her elegant black and white Isabell Kristensen dress. Dame Shirley also mentioned that being dubbed an icon can be both flattering and bothersome, especially when dealing with uninvited guests approaching her table at restaurants. She reminisced about the most glamorous moment of her life, which was her first performance for the late Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.

When asked about her favorite diva, Dame Shirley named Madonna, admiring her diva-like qualities. She expressed her admiration for Ella Fitzgerald’s down-to-earth nature and regretted not having the chance to meet Maria Callas, whom she considered an original diva. Revealing her room service choice, she mentioned that her ideal last meal would consist of pink champagne and caviar. If she were an accessory, she humorously stated that she would be a diamond, as her January birthstone, the bloodstone, was not as appealing.

Dame Shirley’s reflections on her career, encounters with royalty, and personal preferences provide a glimpse into the life of a legendary singer who has captivated audiences for decades. Her enduring charm and candid remarks continue to endear her to fans and admirers worldwide.