Belfast Telegraph

Dame Shirley Bassey unveils handprints at Wembley

The singer first performed at the venue 60 years ago.

Dame Shirley Bassey (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Dame Shirley Bassey (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Dame Shirley Bassey has unveiled a bronze plaque containing her handprints at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

The singer, 82, said she felt “honoured” as she returned to the venue to unveil her plaque in Wembley Park’s “Square of Fame” 60 years after she first performed there.

She said: “I am honoured to have been asked back to The SSE Arena, Wembley, after 60 years to unveil my handprints in Wembley Park’s iconic ‘Square of Fame’.

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Dame Shirley Bassey’s handprints (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“It is incredible how much Wembley Park has transformed over the years, and I am delighted that my bronze plaque will forever be included in one of the UK’s largest collection of handprints next to so many iconic artists.”

Dame Shirley performed to a crowd of 9,000 people in the first ever concert to take place at the Empire Pool, Wembley (now The SSE Arena, Wembley) in 1959.

The unveiling marks 60 years of the arena in Wembley Park.

The plaque joins those of other music legends including Madonna, Alice Cooper, Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams and George Michael.

James Saunders, chief operating officer of Wembley Park, explained: “As we continue with our transformation of Wembley Park, we are thrilled to have Dame Shirley back at The SSE Arena, Wembley, after 60 years.

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Dame Shirley Bassey (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“We are honoured to have the Dame unveil her handprints at Wembley Park to help us celebrate our proud musical heritage.

“Internationally known for its breadth of music and sporting events, Wembley Park is fast becoming London’s go-to neighbourhood for shopping, dining, culture and entertainment with community at its heart and we encourage anyone who has not visited recently to come and see the transformation first hand.”

John Drury, vice president and general manager of the venue, added: “We are so honoured to have Dame Shirley Bassey revisit The SSE Arena, Wembley, unveiling her handprints to celebrate a momentous 60 years of entertainment – it’s a nostalgic reminder of the amazing artists we have had perform here and how many are still to come.

“The Dame’s performance was such a significant occasion for The SSE Arena, Wembley, entertaining thousands of guests – we look forward to entertaining many thousands more over the next 60 years.”

PA

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