British singer Vera Lynn to release new album at 100

Forces sweetheart Vera Lynn celebrates turning 100 years old with the release of a new album (AFP Photo/SHAUN CURRY)
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  • Vera Lynn
    Vera Lynn
    British singer (1917-2020)

London (AFP) - Renowned World War II singer Vera Lynn will celebrate her next birthday by becoming the first singer in history to release a new album at age 100, her record label said on Thursday.

"Vera Lynn 100" will feature Lynn's original vocals set to re-orchestrated versions of some of her most famous songs including "The White Cliffs of Dover" and "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart."

The album is being released on March 17, three days before the singer's milestone birthday.

"It's truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time," Lynn said in a statement released by Decca Records.

"It's so wonderful for me to hear 'my songs' again so beautifully presented in a completely new way," she said.

Known as the "forces' sweetheart", Lynn famously boosted troops' morale during World War II, travelling thousands of miles to Egypt, India and Myanmar to entertain soldiers with her songs.

Lynn, who started performing at the age of seven, has won many accolades during her illustrious career.

She became the first British artist to top the US charts in 1952 as well as the oldest living artist to feature in the UK top 20 chart at the age of 97.

Honoured many times by Queen Elizabeth II, Lynn was made a dame in 1975.

Asked on Thursday if she thought her new album could surpass the previous one and reach number one in UK charts, Lynn told BBC radio: "I doubt that."

"It might seem quite tame to these young people, the music. But for us it was very exciting and very meaningful and it meant a lot to people."

The singer, who has described reaching her 100th birthday as "an incredible adventure of song, dance and friendship". It will be celebrated in a charity concert, held at the London Palladium on March 18.

Lynn will not join in the singing, telling the BBC: "It's best I can remember me as I was."

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