April 16, 1939 - March 2, 1999
"My sexuality has never been a problem to me but I think it has been
for other people."
Dusty's real name was Mary O'Brien. We liked the name Dusty
better, and Dusty with a beehive and a pound of mascara was the best. Do you ever wish you
could stop time? Man, she was IT.
In 1994, she underwent surgery for a lump found in her breast. She
recuperated after receiving months of chemo and radiotherapy, and everyone had hoped she licked the
cancer. Unfortunately, in
early 1998 it returned. Dusty succumbed to the disease on Tuesday the second of
March 1999, at 10:30pm. She was 59 years old.
UPDATE APRIL 2001
Notice the informant, her brother Tom
Springfield. Findadeath.com friend Russ sent this in: Dusty & her
brother recorded together as "The Springfields" prior to Dusty finding solo success. They even had a hit in the U.S. with
"Silver Threads and Golden Needles". Check
Ironically, Dusty was due to receive an OBE from the Queen on the day she died. OBE
stands for "Order of the British Empire," and is given to people who have made
an outstanding contribution to Britain. The Queen made a concession because Dusty's health
had deteriorated. Dusty's manager went to St. James's Palace in London to pick up the
award so Dusty could enjoy it for the last few weeks of her life. The funny bit is that
her manager carried the award back to Dusty in a bag from a local department store,
leaving Dusty to quip, "What would the Queen think about an OBE being presented in a
plastic shopping bag?!"
The Queen was "saddened" by her death. She always
Knowing full well what was happening to her, Dusty reportedly told a friend to:
"Get things organized. I want to go out with a bit of style." That she did.
A horse drawn carriage with glass sides carried Dusty passed hundreds of fans in Henley
on Thames, Oxfordshire. A loudspeaker played her hit songs. Lulu, Kiki Dee, Elvis
Costello, The Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and Chris St. Lowe joined the mourners at St.
Mary the Virgin Church.
Tom Jones sent flowers, as did Rod Stewart, Elton John and his boyfriend David Furnish,
Rolling Stones, Cilla Black, and Paul McCartney. Dusty's former backup singer Simon Bell
sang, "The Wind Beneath My Wings." Lulu spoke, "She had tremendous courage
and she bared her soul to the whole world."
As her coffin was taken from the church for cremation, "You Don't Have To Say You
Love Me" was being played on the speakers. Bunches of white daisies were tied to the
railings outside the church, and the horse drawn hearse
was lined with pink and white
floral letters spelling out her name.
Dusty was cremated (don't say it) and was scattered somewhere over Ireland.
Two weeks after she died, Dusty was honored in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Elton
John, Dusty's former manager, and "close friend" Vickie Wickham accepted the award on Dusty's
Added December 2004: Just outside St.
there is a memorial tablet for Dusty.
Trivia: Dusty, a confirmed bisexual, did a concert in 1979 at the Albert Hall, in
London. Princess Margaret was in the Royal Box. An army of hand waving lesbians and gay
men greeted Dusty's arrival on stage. Then she wickedly announced, "I'm glad to see
that the royalty here tonight is not only confined to the Royal Box." Princess
Margaret did not understand the joke (lush), and questioned the remark, as she could not
see any other royalty. When her escorts explained, the Princess walked out. That alone
would have been worth the admission price.
Discuss Dusty at the Findadeath