Hundreds flock to say they loved her

NEIL TENNANT, of the Pet Shop Boys, reached into another era yesterday for the adjective which summed up precisely what made Dusty Springfield special. "Dusty was special," he said, "because Dusty was fab". Laughter rippled through St Mary's Church in Henley-on- Thames at the funeral of the finest female soul singer Britain ever produced who, with her beehive hair and panda eyes, personified "fabness".

The Pet Shop Boys are credited with resurrecting Dusty's career by recording with her in the late 1980s, years after she had dropped out of the charts, and the nation's consciousness. But yesterday Mr Tennant, in a moving and very funny tribute, made clear that the privilege had been all theirs.

When they decided to ask Dusty to record with them, the duo was warned that the singer who had battled against drugs and booze was "difficult".

There were gloomy predictions that she might not even turn up at the recording studio. But when the day came, there was Dusty, all in black leather, a very punctual, "mid-Eighties diva".

The icon, he said, had turned out to be shy, "sweet and kind and a bit nutty". But, Mr Tennant said, when Dusty sang he knew he was "in the presence of greatness".

The funeral was an oddly intimate, of-the-people sort of affair. A crowd of 500 people gathered outside to listen to the funeral service relayed on speakers murmured agreement when Mr Tennant said Dusty would have been moved to know what she had meant to people.

Dusty, who loved studio technology, would have approved of the state of the art PA system which belted out her hits across Henley's ancient town centre.

Apart from the Pet Shop Boys and Elvis Costello, the celebrities in attendance were mainly from the era when Dusty was a regular fixture at the top of the charts: Lulu in dark sunglasses, Madeline Bell of Blue Mink, Kiki Dee.

The coffin had arrived to the strains of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" in a glass covered horse-drawn carriage upon which the singer's name was carved out in flowers.

Trudy Mitchell, 42, from south-east London wept uncontrollably as the service drew to a close. She said she had been a fan of Dusty's since she was five years old.

A neighbour, Gib Hancock, who became Dusty's friend in Henley while she fought the cancer that ended her life, said: "She was without doubt one of the bravest people that I knew."

When the coffin emerged from the church, en route to the crematorium, the crowd broke into applause as another Springfield song played.

Among the family bouquets, to Mary O'Brien - Dusty's real name - was one from Sir Paul McCartney. He was, said the card, glad to have had the chance a few weeks earlier to tell Dusty "what a classic" she was.

Elvis Costello told the congregation how Dusty used to sing in "a voice so unique and precious". He passed on a tribute from American producer Burt Bacharach who said: "You could hear just three notes and you knew it was Dusty."

t Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were among mourners to pay their final respects to film director Stanley Kubrick yesterday.

The husband and wife actors, who played the lead roles in Kubrick's last film, Eyes Wide Shut, were driven into his Hertfordshire estate close behind director Steven Spielberg.

In keeping with the director's secretive lifestyle, there were no details of any funeral service. It was understood Kubrick will be buried in the grounds of the estate, Childwickbury Manor near St Albans.

His death at the age of 70 came less than a week after Eyes Wide Shut was completed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review