Entertainment

Singer turns 100 with stunning White Cliffs of Dover tribute

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Patricia Morison Dame Vera Lynn and Kirk Douglas

Britain has taken a nostalgic trip into the past to celebrate the 100th birthday of patriotic songstress Vera Lynn by projecting her image onto the white cliffs of Dover.

The White Cliffs of Dover are set to receive a temporary makeover in honour of Dame Vera Lynn.

Hospital staff joined patients in the reminiscence room on Kingswood Ward, to enjoy musical memories and a 1940s tea party, in tribute to the much-loved performer on her 100th birthday.

Among British Servicemen she became known as the "Forces" sweetheart'.

As part of the birthday celebrations, children at Brampton Primary School - Dame Vera's old school in East Ham, east London - sang Happy Birthday to her via Skype.

Throughout her career, Lynn has been recognised with various awards.

With one of her previous albums, a "best of" compilation released in 2009, Lynn became the oldest living artist to have an album reach the number one spot in United Kingdom charts.

It is an unprecedented honour to have my birthday marked in such a lovely way and I am truly thrilled by this wonderful gesture.

Her new album, Vera Lynn 100, has shot into the charts at number 3, one place ahead of Toronto star Drake's More Life, according to the Official Charts Company midweek update.

"I always looked at the lyrics first because I thought they were more important and, if I liked them, then I would look at the tune", she says.

By the 1930s she was a popular radio performer and she released her first solo record in 1936.

The Queen, who during World War Two learned to be a driver and a mechanic while serving in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, sent a 100th birthday message to Lynn.

It also marks the release of her new album, called Vera Lynn 100, which features re-orchestrated versions of her best-known music, plus a surprise find of a previously-unknown recording of Sailing, the song made famous by Rod Stewart. The one-off spectacular raised funds for her children's charity and features Armstrong and singers Blake and Hayley Westenra.

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