Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Vera Lynn: still an inspiration

May 28th, 2014

Some performers have their 15 minutes of fame, but few manage a whole 90 years.

Yet Dame Vera Lynn is the exception to many rules. Having sung her first song on stage at the age of seven, the 97-year-old is a showbiz trouper by any stretch of the imagination – not to mention the oldest person to have had a No 1 album, having reached the top of the charts as recently as 2009.

The curious thing, however, is that Dame Vera never expected her celebrity to last. As she confesses in a new interview, she assumed that her status as the Forces’ sweetheart would be a temporary thing – that just like them, she would be demobbed, returning to civilian life as “just another singer” rather than remaining a national star.

It is hard to imagine a greater contrast with the culture of modern celebrity – with the mindless pursuit of fame for fame’s sake. As Dame Vera knows, the purpose of performing is not to glorify the performer, but to entertain, console or amuse the audience. Dame Vera not only did that – amid the darkest times this nation has faced – but has devoted much of her life since to doing good work for a host of worthy causes. Her life should serve as an inspiration not just to would-be singers, but to anyone who wants to understand what makes Britain great.

World War Two

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