Today, Wednesday 18 September 2019, acclaimed singer, Dame Shirley Bassey, unveiled her handprints in the form of a bronze plaque in Wembley Park’s ‘Square of Fame’ at The SSE Arena, Wembley. The star first performed at the venue 60 years ago in a legendary performance that inaugurated The SSE Arena, Wembley, as a music and entertainment venue, and began its reputation as one of the world’s most iconic concert venues. The unveiling marks 60 momentous years of The SSE Arena, Wembley in Wembley Park, North West London’s world-famous, dynamic cultural neighbourhood.
Dame Shirley’s plaque, imprinted with her name and handprints, joins so many other music legends in the ‘Square of Fame’ such as Madonna, Alice Cooper, Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams and George Michael.
In 1959, Dame Shirley Bassey 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). The significant concert was Dame Vera Lynn’s Record Star Show, a charity fundraiser also featuring Petula Clark, Max Bygraves, Lonnie Donegan and Humphrey Lyttelton. This single performance was the start of something remarkable and initiated thousands of ‘Hello Wembley!’ moments in one of the world’s leading cities in music. Demonstrating the success of Wembley Park and The SSE Arena, Wembley, to date the number of visitors welcomed by The SSE Arena, Wembley is roughly equivalent to the total population of the United Kingdom (67.5 million).
Bassey began her career in the 1950s and soared to success with her powerhouse vocals. She also received widespread recognition for her work on the theme songs for the James Bond movies Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.
Of this acknowledgement, Dame Shirley Bassey states, “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’. 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.”