LONDON (Billboard) - Forty years after Welsh vocal powerhouse Shirley Bassey first hit the Billboard Hot 100, she is back on a Billboard chart as her cover of Pink's "Get the Party Started" climbs the Hot Dance Club Play list.
The rebound underlines the strength of her latter-day club and gay audiences, and provides the ideal aperitif to the March 18 U.S. Decca release of an album with the same title.
The new set is characterized by covers of modern standards like "Hello" and "I Will Survive," alongside updated and similarly club-friendly versions of her own "Big Spender" and "I Who Have Nothing."
Bassey, 71 and residing in Monte Carlo, has recorded only sporadically in recent years. The catalyst for the new work was her relationship with songwriter/producers Catherine Feeney and Nikki Lamborn, who also record as Never the Bride.
They presented Bassey with a tape of their song "The Living Tree." The track became the kick-start for the album, which Never the Bride's own Lock Stock and Barrel label released in the United Kingdom last April.
The album has sold 60,000 units in the United Kingdom, according to Decca Music Group. It debuted in the U.K. top 10 and set the scene for Bassey's widely acclaimed 2007 appearance at the Glastonbury Festival, when her iconic status was acknowledged by Arctic Monkeys' onstage cover of "Diamonds Are Forever."
Of her durable international celebrity, Bassey says, "I didn't mind becoming famous because I did it gradually. Probably that's why I'm still here."
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