Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien)
BiographyHampstead, London, England, UK
Dusty Springfield has been acknowledged around the world as the best female soul singer that Britain ever produced. With her oddly erotic, throaty voice, she racked up a string of hits from the 1960s onwards. Born in London to Irish parents, Dusty grew up in and around London. Her early work included an all-girl trio, "The Lana Sisters" and, then, with her brother Tom Springfield (Dion O'Brien), The Springfields. Inspired by Phil Spector's "wall of sound", Dusty recorded her first pop song "I Only Want to Be with You" in 1963. It reached No. Read more... song played on the new BBC TV pop show Top of the Pops (1964). The sixties brought a steady succession of top-ten hits and a lifestyle to match. However, Dusty used to campaign to get the little-known American soul singers a better audience in the United Kingdom which led to her own show Ready, Steady, Go!: The Sound of Motown (1965). In 1970, she moved to America and, although she attempted a few come-back tours, they never really worked. However, time in the studio did produce the seminal album, "Dusty in Memphis". A downward spiral of drugs and drink followed for most of the latter seventies but then she overcame these problems and, helped by lifelong fans "The Pet Shop Boys", came back with songs such as "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" and the album "Reputation". Cancer was diagnosed in 1994 and, although it was kept at bay for quite a while, it finally got her.