Wales

Shirley Bassey names cruise ship Adonia in Southampton

Dame Shirley Bassey prepares to name the Adonia
Image caption Dame Shirley Bassey prepares to name the Adonia

Dame Shirley Bassey has became the "godmother" of a cruise ship after she officially named the liner in a ceremony of fireworks and music.

The Welsh singer smashed a bottle of sparkling wine against the side of the Adonia,in Southampton.

She pressed a diamond-shaped button to launch the bottle down a 100-metre zip wirte onto the the ship.

Dame Shirley said it was an honour which she had only seen royalty perform.

The star said: "I have had the most exciting career imaginable but to be invited to be godmother to the Adonia is something very special and very personal."

She added: "When the ship comes to Monte Carlo I shall be on my balcony because I am right by the sea. I will see her come in and I will jump into my car and go down and greet her personally.

"The excitement is fantastic and it's an honour because I have only seen the Queen and the Queen Mother christen a ship."

The Adonia, P&O's newest addition to its cruise fleet, will set sail on its maiden voyage to the Mediterranean on SUnday.

All cruise ships are 'matched' with their godmother or father.

"Dame Shirley is Britain's most successful female artiste ever, a national treasure who defines the word 'superstar' and she is now one of our most celebrated godmothers," said P&O Cruises managing director Carol Barlow.

"With Dame Shirley's blessing I am sure Adonia will have a long and illustrious time with P&O Cruises and become a favourite within the fleet as she charms all those who sail on her," she added.

Image caption After the naming ceremony the cruise ship will sail on its maiden voyage on Sunday

Best known for her three James Bond themes - Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker, Dame Shirley has spent five decades in the music industry.

She was born on 8 January, 1937 in Cardiff's Tiger Bay, the seventh child of Henry and Eliza Bassey.

Her father was a seaman from Nigeria, and her mother was from the North of England.

Dame Shirley left school in 1952 at the age of 15 to work in a local factory, but began her singing career the following year.

Her music has taken her all over the world, with some destinations less glamorous than others.

In 2007 she got into the festival spirit at Glastonbury donning diamond-encrusted Wellington boots, after arriving by helicopter.

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