DAME Vera Lynn is to release a new album - as she turns 97.

The forces' sweetheart, who buoyed the nation's spirits in the Second World War,- will bring out a new collection which includes unreleased songs which were recently rediscovered.

Dame Vera, who celebrates her birthday today, already holds a record as the first and only artist over the age of 90 to top the UK album charts, a feat she achieved in 2009.

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The veteran star will issue Vera Lynn: National Treasure - The Ultimate Collection on June 2 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings four days later.

Dame Vera said: "I think it's wonderful my songs are still enjoyed, especially if it encourages people to commemorate what happened 70 years ago. It's moving for me to relive those days and humbling to know people still think of me. It was simply my duty to keep singing."