Momma D: Dionne Warwick, the Grande Dame of Divas

September 11, 2010

She learnt her stagecraft from Marlene Dietrich; 50 years on, she’s mentor to Whitney Houston and P. Diddy

Dionne Warwick opens up her arms in a stage bow: “I’m looking pretty good, don’t you think,” she says. The singer seems slightly surprised to be turning 70, and, with pearly white teeth and chiselled cheekbones, she is indeed looking good. Warwick is one of the great divas of her generation, with a multiple Grammy award-winning career spanning 50 years and a personal orbit that encompasses everyone from Burt Bacharach to Marlene Dietrich, Beyoncé and Barack Obama. But on a sunny morning in early September she is in work, rather than diva, mode; turning up, without entourage, at the Apollo Theatre in London, where her 70th birthday gala will be held in honour of World Hunger Day on January 9.

She is petite in jeans, trainers, and a green sweatshirt bearing the emblem of her old sch… [more]

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