Acclaimed by many as the best female pop singer to ever emerge out of Britain, Dusty Springfield has already become a legend through her four-decade career, genre versatility and numerous musical accomplishments. From her solo debut in the early 1960s she released twenty studio albums and countless memorable hits, which remain as appreciated today as they were when first becoming popular. She travelled extensively to promote her music, reaching distant locations and popularising soul music in countries where it was practically unknown. Recognised as having a unique style, she had a great impact on other musicians and on the industry as a whole, being celebrated not only for the music itself and her assiduousness as a recording artist, but also for her charming personality, stylish appearance and energy, traits which lead to her status as an icon of the British pop scene.
Her career is seen as symbiotic with the decades it unfolded in, her music, attitude, the life philosophy she conveyed and her appearance being in tandem with the intense changes society was undergoing at the time. Despite the attempts of many to associate her image with the banal and frivolity, wishing to turn it into a symbol of glamour, music critics as well as her acquaintances and friends argue that brashness was simply the shield of a deep and complex personality, leaving the image as the mere mask of a public persona.
Pioneering soul music in Britain, she has led the way for countless female artists with a similar approach to music, developing her own style, which in spite of drawing inspiration from African American performers, was by no means an imitation or an attempt to fit into an ethnic background she did not belong to. She is known for her interest in civil liberties and social equality, issues which she was always outspoken about, in spite of the immediate consequences in a fluctuating and morally confused social environment. Unlike the moral speeches given by present day celebrities, who face no repercussions for their statements, her stance was candid and sustained, sometimes resulting in perilous events such as her deportation from South Africa for suspicion of undermining the state policies of segregation.
Beyond all media coverage, official recognitions and praises for her prolific activity and role in the evolution of the UK music industry, as well as the tactless public disclosure of her private life, she remains in people´s memory as a highly gifted, hard working, charming and sensitive person, who in spite of all struggles remained genuine until the end.