Renowned wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn will celebrate turning 100 with the release of a new album.
The “forces’ sweetheart” – who buoyed the nation’s spirits in the Second World War – will mark the milestone with the record which features new re-orchestrated versions of her most beloved music alongside her original vocals.
Set to be released on March 17, three days before her birthday, it is thought the collection will make Dame Vera the first singer to have released a new album as a centenarian.
The album also features a previously unreleased version of Sailing — a surprise find as it was not widely known she had recorded the track.
The record comes eight years after Dame Vera became the oldest living artist to land a UK number one album and also marks the wartime singer’s 93 years in the industry as she made her stage debut at the age of seven.
Dame Vera is joined by a line-up of chart-topping British singers on the album, including Alfie Boe on We’ll Meet Again, Alexander Armstrong on White Cliffs Of Dover and Aled Jones on As Time Goes By.
Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart, which saw the veteran musician become the first British singer to reach the top of the US Official Charts in 1952, also appears on the record.
Of the release, Dame Vera said: “It’s truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time – I was after all just doing my job as a singer – and it’s so wonderful for me to hear my songs again so beautifully presented in a completely new way.”
The singer will also celebrate her birthday with a charity concert showcasing some of the best of British talent at the London Palladium.
Taking place on March 18, the one-off spectacular will raise funds for her children’s charity and features Alexander and singers Blake and Hayley Westenra.
She has previously described the prospect of reaching 100 as “an incredible adventure of song, dance, and friendship”.
Vera Lynn 100 will be released on March 17 on Decca Records.