At the ripe age of 76, Dame Shirley Bassey made her big debut at the Academy Awards on Sunday February 24, singing the James Bond theme song "Goldfinger" during a special tribute to the mega movie franchise. Acknowledged for Bond theme songs "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker", the legendary entertainer earned a standing ovation given by the star-studded audience at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Introduced by former Bond girl Halle Berry who said, "Bond music is a genre, all its own. Guaranteed to make your heart beat faster and take your breath away," Bassey walked on stage in a very apt gold evening gown. After a clip showing highlights from one of the most loved franchises in entertainment, the Welsh singer belted out "Goldfinger", the theme song of the 1964 James Bond film of the same name, which appeared in the film's opening and closing sequences as well as its soundtrack.
Adele, clad in a black sparkling dress, continued the tribute show with her rendition of "Skyfall" from the latest James Bond film. It marked her first live performance of the "Skyfall" movie's theme song.
The special tribute was a celebration of Bond's fifty successful years in cinema. Last year's "Skyfall" starring Daniel Craig and directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes became the biggest Bond movie of all time.
Earlier on the red carpet, Bassey strode off in a stunning Versace dress. Although she is best known for her work in the Bond movies, she has done so much more in her six-decade career, recording 44 albums and selling 135 million records. Before her big Oscars debut, she last performed onstage at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in London.
Shirley Bassey sings "Goldfinger" at the 2013 Oscars:
Adele sings "Skyfall" at the 2013 Oscars: