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Star who has topped charts over five decades

Cliff Richard has been one of the music world's most enduring stars, creating chart-topping singles across five separate decades.

Even 56 years after making his chart debut with Move It, with his then band The Drifters - later to become The Shadows - he continues to record and perform.

Born Harry Webb in Lucknow, India, he moved to Calcutta and then when the country gained independence in 1947, he headed to Britain.

After landing a recording deal in 1958, he was marketed as the British answer to Elvis Presley, with a similarly sheened quiff, but the early rock and roll of his initial hits was toned down by the release of his first number one single Living Doll.

He also embarked on a film career including The Young Ones and Summer Holiday which made him the UK's biggest box office attraction in 1962 and 1963.

He continued to record with The Shadows but also performed songs with a more religious feel and appeared at Billy Graham crusades.

In 1968 he became the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entrant, singing Congratulations, missing out on a win by a single point, but providing a hit across Europe and he returned to the competition again five years later with Power to All Our Friends which finished third.

TEAMED

He went on to have his own TV show, It's Cliff, but also found a new lease of life as a more credible rock artist in 1976 with a landmark album, I'm Nearly Famous, and the single Devil Woman, which became his first proper US hit.

Although he enjoyed a close friendship with the tennis player turned broadcaster Sue Barker, Cliff never married.

By 1979 he had teamed up with producer Alan Tarney for his hit We Don't Talk Anymore, the biggest-selling single of his career.

Cliff, who received his knighthood in 1995, has homes in Berkshire, Portugal and the Caribbean, led a celebrated singalong at a rain-sodden Wimbledon centre court the following year, leading the crowd with a performance which included Summer Holiday and Bachelor Boy.

hnews@herald.ie


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