Singer. Her husky, soulful voice earned her the distinction as being one of the greatest female vocalists to hail from Great Britain during the 1960s. Born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien, her childhood was anything but happy. Her father a tax accountant was verbally abusive her mother a homemaker was a struggling alcoholic. In fact, she was so saddened by her father’s attacks that she would physically harm herself. Her only solace from her home life was music. She received a Catholic School education and following graduation, she formed a singing duo with her older brother. Influenced by Jazz music including singer Peggy Lee, she joined a cabaret style group called the Lana Sisters. After this, she rejoined her brother in a group called The Springfields. During this period, she changed her first name to Dusty and adopted the name of the group as her last name. The Springfields enjoyed popularity in England until their disbanding in 1963. Dusty immediately launched her solo career and scored a major hit with “I Only Want To Be With You” (1963) which was recorded while she was a member of The Springfields. Numerous artists have since covered the song. Dusty’s popularity increased as she enjoyed further hits with “Wishin’ And Hopin’” (1964), “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” and “The Look of Love” (1967). The later song was heard in the film “Casino Royale” (1967). She earned a Top-Ten chart placing in the United States with “Son-of-a Preacher Man” (1968). Sadly for Dusty, the 1970s saw a sharp decline in popularity as the styles of music changed. Fueled by her drug addiction, with the exception of contributing backing vocals to Elton John’s “Tumbleweed Connection” (1970), she virtually disappeared from the entertainment scene during that decade. She had a brief revival of her career during the 1980s when she collaborated with The Pet Shop Boys on “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”. The song reached number two on the Pop Charts in 1987. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and died from complications of breast cancer the following year.
Bio by: C.S.