Dame Vera Lynn marks 100th birthday with new album

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Wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn is to celebrate her 100th birthday by releasing a new album.

The “forces’ sweetheart”, who buoyed the nation’s spirits in the Second World War, will mark the occasion with re-orchestrated versions of her most beloved music alongside her original vocals.

It is thought the release of the album on 17 March, three days before her birthday, will make Dame Vera the first singer to have released a new album as a centenarian.

Dame Vera said: “It’s truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time.

“I was after all just doing my job as a singer and it’s so wonderful for me to hear my songs again so beautifully presented in a completely new way.”

Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera rehearsing for the Royal Variety Performance at London’s Victoria Palace, 1960. Credit: AP

The album also features a previously unreleased version of Sailing, a surprise find as it was not widely known she had recorded the track.

The record comes eight years after Dame Vera became the oldest living artist to land a UK number one album and also marks the wartime singer’s 93 years in the industry as she made her stage debut at the age of seven.

Dame Vera is joined by a line-up of chart-topping British singers on the album, including Alfie Boe on We’ll Meet Again, Alexander Armstrong on White Cliffs Of Dover and Aled Jones on As Time Goes By.

Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn plays the piano to her daughter Virginia in her North London flat. Credit: AP

The singer will also celebrate her birthday with a charity concert on March 18 showcasing some of the best of British talent at the London Palladium.

She has previously described the prospect of reaching 100 as “an incredible adventure of song, dance, and friendship”.

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