Photo Credit: DAVID MAGNUS/REX/Shutterstock

I wouldn't know how to handle serenity if somebody handed it to me on a plate

Although it has been nearly 20 years since her death and a full half century since her Sixties heyday – you’ll most likely be familar with Dusty Springfield’s timeless songs and soulful husky voice.

Even today, songs such as Son of a Preacher Man, I Only Want To Be With You, I Don’t Know What To Do With Myself and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me remain so famous that there is virtually no one in the land, who doesn’t know at least one of them. In fact, you probably have one of them going in your head now. In the Eighties, she scored another pop hit after teaming up with the Pet Shop Boys on What Have I Done To Deserve This?

Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien, after a convent education and an unhappy childhood, young Dusty bleached and backcombed her hair, slicked on the smoky eyeliner and decided to rebel against her upbringing. “I just suddenly decided, in one afternoon, to be this other person who was going to make it” she said.

And make it, she did.

The pressures of fame were sometimes difficult for Dusty, especially in an era when the media took a prurient interest in her bisexuality, something the singer was candid about. Great fun, she well-known for her high-spirited way as showbiz parties, which were usually on the impish side. “Hell! Have I been a hellraiser,” she said.

Dusty was still young when she died of breast cancer. When she didn't have long left to live, she said: “It's a long time since being a star was the most important thing to me.” And yet she is still an icon.