Legacy

It is safe to say that Dusty Springfield wrote a page in the history of British music, as she left behind a plethora of albums, singles and live recordings, adding to them her work as a television presenter. Her singles continue to be covered and concerts are held in her memory; compilation albums are still produced; as to her audience, there are still many active fan groups organising discussions and events, proving that the interest in her music has far from disappeared.

Besides her discography and expanding fan base, Dusty Springfield has also lead the way for numerous artists, as her preference for soul music and the overall performing style of US musicians lead to an enthused and simultaneously innovative style. Through her television programs during the 1960s she promoted the Motown sound, which quickly became a sensation and has been embraced by many British singers and musicians ever since.

Whereas Dusty Springfield herself was inspired by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, she became an inspiration to many and remains so to this day. Among those who have sought inspiration in her singing style were resounding names such as Annie Lennox, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, Kiki Dee and Elton John. She is in fact spoken of as the first true pop diva, who created a role model for others to follow, in terms of style and attitude. She is said to have been the Marilyn Monroe of the music industry.

Nonetheless, her personality became emblematic for more than the sheer talent and dedication to music – her image and onstage demeanour have become iconic for the 1960s and everything they represented in terms of a cultural shift from safe attitudes and styles to a more intimate and daring expressiveness. She is also considered a forerunner in divulging her alternative lifestyle and her classic appearance is often emulated (more or less gracefully) at LGBT events.