Of all the great British Invasion songstresses (Petula, Cilla, Lulu, Sandie, Marianne), Dusty is my favorite. Her voice was rich and soulful, and as all great singers do, she made every song her own. I recommend her masterpiece, Dusty in Memphis for any introduction to her catalog, as well as the equally essential Complete A and B Sides 1963 - 1970. No female singer quite interpreted Goffin and King as wonderfully as she, save for Aretha.
Dusty was born Mary O'Brien in West Hampstead, London. She began her singing career performing folk songs alongside her older brother. They achieved success as the Springfields, even scoring a major U.S. hit with their cover of Wanda Jackson's "Silver Threads and Golden Needles." Dusty soon broke out on her own, shunning the folk of the past, and thus reaching worldwide fame and iconic status as the platinum blonde r&b diva.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(Biographical information taken from the liner notes to The Springfields: On an Island of Dreams, written by Michael Robson.)