Bee Gees star unveils Dusty Springfield plaque

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb paid tribute to the late Dusty Springfield today as he unveiled a blue plaque at her former London home.

Springfield, who died in 1999, lived at 38-40 Aubrey Walk in Kensington from 1968 to 1972, while she was at the height of her fame.

A plaque was installed outside the property by the Heritage Foundation in 2001 but “disappeared” during renovation works earlier this year.

Unveiling a replacement plaque, Gibb, president of the Heritage Foundation, said: “She could do no wrong. It’s got nothing to do with the sound or production, it was her – and that is the measure of greatness. She will be great forever.”

He said the plaque was “incredibly important” to honour her. “She is probably the greatest female popular singer in the modern pop rock era – since 1963, there’s been no one to match her. This includes the United States as well - they can’t come close to her. Today they just pose as singing. She was the genuine article.

“I don’t think there will ever be anyone that could take the place of Dusty Springfield.”

Gibb, who said his all-time favourite Dusty Springfield song was You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, met the singer several times. He said: “We weren’t close friends but we were acquainted.

“She was shy, insecure, all the hallmarks of an artist that is great in spite of their own feelings. She was far from thinking highly of herself – she needed encouragement to boost her confidence.”

Gibb, 61, suffered a health scare last month and was forced to cancel a string of dates in Brazil.

He said today: “I’m over my worst. These things happen to us from time to time but I’m fit as a fiddle right now, thank God.”

Also at the unveiling today was Pat Rhodes, who was Springfield’s PA from 1963 until her death.

Mrs Rhodes, 76, said: “I used to have an office upstairs. Dusty was singing along while listening to songs that she might record. The one thing she had to do all the time was to sign autographs. We used to have a picture day when she would sign as many as she could before her hand gave out.

“She was at the point in her career where she wanted to go to the States – she had done everything she could do here, really.

“With Dusty every day was different. She was family to me. I miss her every day.”

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