In 1954, Shirley Bassey was 17 years old and had just returned from a cheesy revue tour called "Hot from Harlem." Depressed, disillusioned, and four months pregnant, she decided that her dream of being a professional singer was over - but a mere 10 years later, she was one of the biggest stars in the world. This book explores this remarkable transformation, both of an individual and of the British society and British psyche that made it possible. From the vibrant, multicultural oasis of Tiger Bay in the Cardiff docklands through the clublands of Soho and Las Vegas to New York's Carnegie Hall, it is a journey from mere mortal to international icon. This biography draws on original research and interviews to provide a portrait of a young woman on the cusp of stardom, whose rise to fame was in many ways symbolic of a changing world. It's the story of a woman who set out to be extraordinary and - against all the odds - succeeded.