Dame Vera Lynn, who was beloved by World War II British troops for her songs “We’ll Meet Again,” and “The White Cliffs of Dover,” has died at age 103.
“The family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers at the age of 103,″ her family said in a statement. “Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family.”
During the war, Vera’s hopeful anthems and down-to-earth appeal reminded servicemen of the life waiting for them back home.
“I was somebody that they could associate with,” she once told The Associated Press. “I was an ordinary girl.”
via New York Post:
While Lynn is best remembered for her work during the war, she had great success during the post-war years. Her “Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart” in 1952 became the first record by an English artist to top the American Billboard charts, staying there for nine weeks. Lynn’s career flourished in the 1950s, peaking with “My Son, My Son,” a No. 1 hit in 1954.
After staying away from the business for years, she had a 1970s comeback single “Don’t You Remember When” and even covered Abba’s “Thank you for the Music,” but fans still really wanted to hear the wartime classics. Lynn was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1975.
And in September 2009, long after her retirement, Lynn topped the British album chart with a best hits collection titled “We’ll Meet Again — The Very Best of Vera Lynn.” It reached No. 1, despite competition from the release of remastered Beatles’ albums.
And just this year, during the coronavirus outbreak, Lynn and opera singer Katherine Jenkins released a charity version of “We’ll Meet Again.”
Speaking of the pandemic, she gave hope to the British public one last time, saying:
“We are facing a very challenging time at the moment, and I know many people are worried about the future.
“All around the world, people are facing extremely difficult times. It is likely that we will all have to make hard decisions in the coming months,” she said.
“I am reminded of World War Two, when our country faced the darkest of times and yet, despite our struggles, pulled together for the common good and we faced the common threat together as a country, and as a community of countries that joined as one right across the world.”
“Music is so good for the soul, and during these hard times we must all help each other to find moments of joy.”
Tributes are pouring in…
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said her “charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours. Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.″
Sir Paul McCartney tweeted “I am so sad to hear of her passing but at the same time so glad to have met her and experienced first-hand her warm, fun-loving personality. Her voice will sing in my heart forever,” he wrote on Twitter.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen will send private condolences to the singer’s family.
BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said, “What sad news. Not only was she dear to many, she was a symbol of hope during the war and is a part of our national story. She appeared on the BBC many times and had her own variety show in the 1960s and early 70s.
Sir Tim Rice said, “Dame Vera Lynn was one of the greatest ever British popular singers, not just because of her immaculate voice, warm, sincere, instantly recognisable and musically flawless. She will be remembered just as affectionately for her vital work in the Second World War and for her own Charitable Foundations in the 75 years since. A link with more certain times has been irrevocably broken.”