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Vera Lynn

CH DBE OStJ
Vera Lynn (1962).jpg
Lynn in 1962
Background information
Birth name Vera Margaret Welch
Born (1917-03-20)20 March 1917
East Ham, Essex, England
Died 18 June 2020(2020-06-18) (aged 103)
Genres Popular, traditional pop
Years active 1924–2020
Labels
  • Decca (London for export)
  • MGM
  • HMV
  • Columbia (EMI)
  • EMI
  • Pye

Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (née Welch; 20 March 1917 – 18 June 2020) was a British singer, songwriter and entertainer whose musical recordings and performances were largely popular during the Second World War. She was widely known as "the Forces' Sweetheart" and gave outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India, and Burma during the war as part of Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). The songs most associated with her are "We'll Meet Again", "The White Cliffs of Dover", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "There'll Always Be an England".

She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the United Kingdom and the U.S. and recording such hits as "Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart" and her UK number one single "My Son, My Son". Her last single, "I Love This Land", was released to mark the end of the Falklands War. In 2009, at the age of 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart with the compilation album We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn. In 2014, she released the collection Vera Lynn: National Treasure and in 2017, she released Vera Lynn 100, a compilation album of hits to commemorate her centennial year—it was a #3 hit, making her the first centenarian performer to have a Top 10 album in the charts.

Lynn devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. She was held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the 20th century.

Vera Lynn's album We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn peaked #1 in the United Kingdom making her the oldest living artist to top the U.K. album charts. The album is some of her recordings made for Decca Records, for whom Lynn recorded between 1936 and 1959. It reached number one on the UK Albums Chart on 13 September 2009. The album entered the chart at number 20 on 30 August, and then climbed to number 2 the following week, before reaching the top position.

The 1964 movie, Dr. Strangelove, starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, ends with a world-ending war of atomic bombs. The scene is accompanied by Vera Lynn's song We'll Meet Again.

Vera Lynn Visits a Munitions Factory, UK, 1941 P551
Lynn sings at a munitions factory in 1941

Albums

Year Album
1961 Yours
1961 As Time Goes By
1962 Hits Of The Blitz
1964 Among My Souvenirs
1966 More Hits Of The Blitz
1970 Hits Of The 60's — My Way
1972 Favourite Sacred Songs
1976 Christmas With Vera Lynn
1977 Vera Lynn In Nashville
1981 20 Family Favourites
1989 We'll Meet Again
2009 We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn
2010 Unforgettable
2014 National Treasure – Ultimate Collection

Movies

Movie
Year Title Role Notes
1943 We'll Meet Again Peggy Brown
1943 Rhythm Serenade Ann Martin
1944 One Exciting Night Vera Baker
1962 Venus fra Vestø Herself

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