The Oscars just got a lot more lung power. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced that legendary Goldfinger vocalist Dame Shirley Bassey will appear at the Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 24, as a part of a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise that was first announced back in January. Adele had already been confirmed to sing the nominated title-song for Skyfall as part of the tribute, along with a montage honoring the series, and a rumored, though far from likely, on-stage reunion of some or all of the actors who’ve previously donned the tux as 007.
“We are thrilled to welcome the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey to our Oscar show,” said Zadan and Meron. “Her association with film music is world renowned and we are proud that she will be making her first Oscar appearance on our telecast.”
It's not clear if Bassey will be singing or just presenting, but if she does sing, she joins an impressive roster of vocal talent at the 85-annual event, including Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones, and, of course, Adele. Other than Monty Norman, who created the strummy electric guitar riff that became the James Bond theme song, or John Barry, who composed most of the movie scores in the series, arguably no one has had a bigger impact on the sound of the 007 franchise than Shirley Bassey.
Her renditions of "Goldfinger" — sorry, "Goooold-FINGAH!" — "Diamonds Are Forever," and "Moonraker," are the bullion standard of Bond movie theme songs. Her vocals, crisply enunciated and brassily powerhouse, are as much a part of Bond as vodka martinis and Aston Martins. It's hard to listen to Adele's recent recording of "Skyfall" and not hear a little bit of a Bassey imitation at work.
And the 76-year-old Welsh singer's still got it. Check out her performance of "Diamonds Are Forever" at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert this past June:
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: WENN]
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