Legendary British singer Vera Lynn died Thursday. She was 103.
“We are devastated that we have lost our President, Dame Vera Lynn, who passed away peacefully, aged 103, surrounded by her close family,” read a statement published on the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity website.
A resident of Ditchling, East Sussex, England, Lynn was best known for her songs “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs of Dover,” which were recorded during World War II and became popular ballads with the Allied forces. Her songs have been used across films and TV shows in the decades since, with one notable example being Stephen Colbert picking “We’ll Meet Again” for his big signoff number at the end of “The Colbert Report” finale in 2014.
Lynn was a hit in both her native United Kingdom and the United States, where she became the first English singer to make it to number one on U.S. music charts.
Her daughter, Virginia Lewis-Jones, said a statement: “My mother first became involved in raising awareness of cerebral palsy in the 50s when there was very little understanding of the condition and children who suffered from motor learning difficulties were often referred to rather pejoratively as ‘spastic.’ Along with celebrity chums including David Jacobs and Wilfred Pickles, she set out to change people’s attitudes towards the disability and help children reach their full potential. There was no one else raising funds to help at that time, so it was groundbreaking work. Although my mother was closely associated with other charities, not least those supporting veterans, the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity always held a very special place in her heart — the children loved her as much as she loved them and I’m extremely proud of what it has achieved and the difference it has made to so many families’ lives.”
“Dame Vera Lynn’s charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted Thursday. “Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.”