Dame Shirley Bassey is thrilled with award for her 'life and friend': music

Dame Shirley will join a host of stars in line for prizes at the Silver Clef Awards.

Dame Shirley Bassey has described music as her “life and friend” as she was honoured with the O2 Silver Clef Award.

The 80-year-old star will join artists such as Blondie, Phil Collins, Emeli Sande and Alexander Armstrong at the star-studded event held by music therapy charity Nordoff-Robbins next week.

She will be presented with the special award in recognition of a glittering 60-year career in music, which famously saw her sing the themes to James Bond movies Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony on June 30, she said: “I’m honoured to be the recipient of this year’s Silver Clef Award.

“Music is my career, music is my life, music is my friend.

“Music has been there to celebrate the highs and sooth through the lows.

“I believe everybody has a song inside of them; some people can lose their way in life, some struggle to express themselves, but Nordoff-Robbins works with these people to find their inner songbird and true happiness.”

Blondie, new wave stars of the 1970s, will be presented with the Amazon outstanding achievement award, while multi award-winning Phil will be named American Express icon.

The Raymond Weil international award will go to American producer and musician Nile Rodgers and acoustic rockers Mumford & Sons will pick up the Royal Albert Hall prize for best group.

Scottish songwriter Emeli will be crowned best female, DJ Pete Tong will receive the innovation prize and Anne-Marie will be named best newcomer.

Picking up the PPL classical award, TV presenter, comedian and former Cambridge choir scholar Alexander said it was “thrilling” to be recognised for his passion.

In the lead-up to the release of his third album, he visited the Nordoff-Robbins centre in north London to see how music therapy can benefit people battling certain mental health conditions.

He said: “Music speaks to all of us and it’s so clear what it is capable of achieving with people who have challenging behavioural issues.

“It has the power to open up a direct channel to people’s souls, and that is something you cannot overstate the importance of.”

Music fans are being invited to select the winner of the Ticketmaster best live act prize – with nominations including the likes of Beyonce, Coldplay, Stormzy, Take That, Little Mix and Bruce Springsteen.

Voting via the Ticketmaster website is open until June 26, before the final ceremony – presented by Nordoff-Robbins ambassador Peter Andre – at central London’s Grosvenor Hotel.

The 42nd awards aim to support the charity’s work and last year raised £600,000 to help vulnerable children and adults through the medium of music.

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