'A fascinating history not only of her early career, but of the casual racism and sexism that prevailed in Britain in the Fifties ... and the strength of character Bassey required to overcome it' Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph. (Daily Telegraph)
'Sensitive and empathetic ... lovely details abound' Guardian. (Guardian)
'Shirley Bassey has shown that even a triply underprivileged black Welsh woman could make it to the giddy heights of showbiz. This is the story John L. Williams tells in a fascinating book: the way in which she negotiated herself into another world' Independent. (Independent)
'Wildly entertaining. Someone should make a movie' The Times. (The Times)
From the Inside Flap
In 1954, Shirley Bassey was seventeen years old. She had just returned from a cheesy revue tour called Hot From Harlem. Depressed, disillusioned and four months pregnant, she decided that her dream of being a professional singer was over. A mere ten years later, she was one of the biggest stars in the world. She had sold more records than any other British singer of the day, and was poised to conquer America. Her latest hit, 'Goldfinger', was the theme to the year's blockbuster film. No longer the two-bit jazz singer from Cardiff, she was by now an international sex siren, as glamorous and unreal as Bond himself. From the vibrant, multicultural oasis of Tiger Bay in the Cardiff docklands through the club-lands of Soho and Las Vegas to New York's Carnegie Hall, it is a journey from mere mortal to international icon. Along the way she would encounter predatory managers, newspaper scandals, a homosexual husband, and a range of friends and acquaintances from Sammy Davis, Jr to Reggie Kray. This is the story of a woman who set out to be extraordinary and - against all the odds - succeeded.