Shirley was the first woman in Europe in the past 40 years to have composed and conducted a symphony – New Nation Rising, a 21st Century Symphony. Composed to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, the piece celebrated the vast history of London and was conceptualised as a framework for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.
The list in the Metro UK celebrated the need to champion success stories from diverse communities and the importance for the younger generation to see themselves reflected positively within society.
Shirley was included in CBBC Newround’s list of ‘great women you should know about’ for Black History Month, which takes place in October. She has also been named in the Evening Standard’s ‘Power List of Britain’s Top 100 Most Influential Black People in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016’.
Shirley said: "I feel very honoured and immensely humbled by this accolade. It's a great privilege to be named with luminaries that I greatly admire. I sincerely hope that our endeavours inspire present and future generations."