Oscars Music: William Ross to Conduct, Dame Shirley Bassey to Appear

Shirley Bassey - P 2013
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Shirley Bassey - P 2013

While the conductor is an Academy Awards veteran, the "Diamonds Are Forever" singer will mark her first appearance at the event.

William Ross returns to conduct the Oscars orchestra this year, and Dame Shirley Bassey will perform at the Feb. 24 ceremony.

Ross has scored such films as The Tale of Despereaux, Ladder 49 and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He last conducted the Academy Awards' 79th and 83rd editions. For the upcoming 85th installment, Ross reconnects with Barbra Streisand, who will perform at the event for the first time in 36 years. Ross has arranged music for Streisand as well as Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Buble and the late Whitney Houston.

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As for Bassey, the singer best known for recording the themes to such Bond films as Diamonds Are Forever and Goldfinger joins Streisand and a roster of previously announced Oscar performers including Adele and Norah Jones.

"We are thrilled to welcome the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey to our Oscar show," the show's producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, said in a statement. "Her association with film music is world renowned and we are proud that she will be making her first Oscar appearance on our telecast."

The Welsh-born Bassey has sold more than 135 million records during her illustrious career, and last year, was among the artists who performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert.