Cilla Black

Priscilla Maria Veronica WhiteOBE (27 May 1943 – 1 August 2015), known by her stage nameCilla Black, was an English singer, television presenter, actress, and author.Championed by her friends the Beatles , she began her career as a singer in 1963, and her singles " Anyone Who Had a Heart " and " You're My World " both reached number one in the UK in 1964. Black had eleven Top Ten hits on the British charts between then and 1971. In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 showed that her version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" was the UK's biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960s."You're My World" was also a modest hit in the US, peaking at No. 26 on theBillboardHot 100 .Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s and early 1970s, Black hosted her own variety show,Cilla, for the BBC between 1968 and 1976. After a brief time as a comedy actress in the mid-1970s, she became a prominent television presenter in the 1980s and 1990s, hosting hit entertainment shows such asBlind Date(1985–2003),The Moment of Truth(1998–2001) andSurprise Surprise(1984–2001).In 2013, Black celebrated her 50 years in show business . British television network ITV honoured this milestone with a one-off entertainment special which aired on 16 October 2013. The show, calledThe One & Only Cilla Black, featured Black herself and was hosted by Paul O'Grady .Black died on 1 August 2015 after a fall in her villa in Estepona, Spain. The day after her funeral, the compilation albumThe Very Best of Cilla Blackwent to number one on the UK Albums Chart and the New Zealand Albums Chart ; it was her first number one album.

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 Cilla Black's Early life

and Anfield Commercial College, where she learnt office skills.

Mersey Beatby the paper's publisher, Bill Harry , who mistakenly referred to her as Cilla Black, rather than her real surname, White. She then took the name Black as part of her stage name.

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 Cilla Black's Music career

Before August 1967[edit]

In her autobiographyWhat's It All About?she wrote:

I'd chosen to do "Summertime", but at the very last moment I wished I hadn't. I adored this song, and had sung it when I came to Birkenhead with the Big Three, but I hadn't rehearsed it with the Beatles and it had just occurred to me that they would play it in the wrong key. It was too late for second thoughts, though. With one last wicked wink at me, John set the group off playing. I'd been right to worry. The music was not in my key and any adjustments that the boys were now trying to make were too late to save me. My voice sounded awful. Destroyed—and wanting to die—I struggled on to the end.

Epstein introduced Black to George Martin who signed her to Parlophone Records and produced her début single, " Love of the Loved " (written by Lennon and McCartney ), which was released only three weeks after she joined Epstein. Despite an appearance on ABC Television's popularThank Your Lucky Stars, the single peaked at a modest No. 35 in the UK, a relative failure compared to the débuts of Epstein's most successful artists (the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas ).

Her second UK No. 1 success, " You're My World ", was an English-language rendition of the Italian popular song "Il Mio Mondo" by composer Umberto Bindi . She also enjoyed chart success with the song in Australia , New Zealand , Europe , South Africa and Canada . Both songs sold over one million copies worldwide, and were awarded gold discs .

Melody Makerto deride Cilla's efforts compared with the original.

Black continued to record Lennon–McCartney compositions throughout her time with Parlophone (1963–1973) and her recordings of " Yesterday ", " For No One " and " Across the Universe " became radio favourites. McCartney said Black's 1972 interpretation of " The Long and Winding Road " was the definitive version of the song.

Hot 100 .The song was to be her only American Top 30 chart success, and Elvis Presley had a copy on his personal jukebox at his Graceland home. Black herself recognised that to achieve popular status in the USA she would need to devote much time to touring there. But she was plagued by homesickness and a sense of loneliness and returned to the UK.

For Bacharach's part, he said "... there weren't too many white singers around, who could convey the emotion that I felt in many of the songs I wrote but that changed with people like Cilla Black".

Not Only... But Also, had appeared onThe Eamonn Andrews Show, and in a Ray Galton – Alan Simpson revue in London's West End —Way Out in Piccadilly—alongside Frankie Howerd , and had starred in the television specialCilla at the Savoy, which was one of the most watched music specials of the 1960s.

(1965) and a leading role alongside David Warner in the psychedelic comedyWork Is a Four-Letter Word(1968) were largely ignored by film critics. In a 1997 interview withRecord Collectormagazine, Black revealed she was asked to appear in the filmThe Italian Job(1969), playing the part of Michael Caine's girlfriend, but negotiations fell through between producers and her management over her fee.

After Epstein[edit]

Other successes followed in 1969: "Conversations" (UK No. 7), "Surround Yourself With Sorrow" (written by Bill Martin , Phil Coulter , UK No. 3), " If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind " (No. 20). Black had a further big hit with " Something Tells Me (Something's Gonna Happen Tonight) " (UK No. 3) in 1971.

Erection. She also holidayed with Harrison and Starr on a trip aboard a yacht chartered by Starr. " Photograph " was written on this trip—originally intended for Black—but Starr decided to record it himself. George Harrison also wrote two songs for Black: "The Light that has Lighted the World" and "I'll Still Love You (When Every Song is Sung)". The latter she recorded during 1974 with her then producer David Mackay , but it was not heard publicly until 2003 when it was included on a retrospective collection entitledCilla: The Best of 1963–78.

Writing in 1969, the rock music journalist Nik Cohn wrote:

Later music career[edit]

, an album of new material featuring duets with Dusty Springfield , Cliff Richard and Barry Manilow . Ten years later, she released the albumBeginnings ... Greatest Hits and New Songs.

The Definitive Collection (A Life in Music), featuring rare BBC video footage; a digital download album of specially commissioned re-mixesCilla All Mixed Up; a remixed single on digital download of "Something Tells Me".

at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury , Buckinghamshire .

The Very Best of Cilla Black—containing all 19 of her UK Top 40 singles, new club remixes plus a bonus DVD of her 1966 TV music specialCilla at the Savoy.

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 Cilla Black's Television career

Cilla(BBC TV series)[edit]

Main article: Cilla (BBC TV series)

Black was offered her own show on the BBC by Bill Cotton , then Assistant Head of Light Entertainment. The show would simply be titledCillaand aired from January 1968 to April 1976.

Comedy[edit]

and was written by Ronnie Taylor . During May 1975 the Writers' Guild of Great Britain named Black as Britain's Top Female Comedy Star.The following year, ATV was commissioned to film six more plays as the initial series had accrued healthy viewing figures and remained constantly among the highest-scoring three shows of the week. During August 1976 Black reprised her role as a comedy actress inCilla's World of Comedywhich featured her theme song and new single "Easy in Your Company".

, alongside Paul O'Grady - the pilot episode was recorded on 31 October 2013. However the show was shelved when the pair were unable to cope with the long hours of filming.

LWT[edit]

Woganin 1983, proving that we can all have second chances" and after her appearance, people were "desperately trying to find her the right comeback vehicle".

(1985–2003) andSurprise Surprise(1984–2001).She also presented the game showThe Moment of Truth(1998–2001). All programmes were mainstream ratings winners and consolidated her position as the highest-paid female performer on British television.

Later television work[edit]

,Room 101twice (once with Paul Merton and once with the current host, Frank Skinner ), and a one off show titledCilla Live!for Living TV . Black was a judge on the first series of the reality TV seriesSoapstar Superstar,featured in an episode of the seriesEating with...and guest presented editions ofThe Paul O'Grady Showin 2006andThe Friday Night Projectfor Channel 4 in 2007.

about her Welsh family history, with roots in Wrexham and Holywell .

Loveland. The show was to be a ten-part "21st century" dating programme for the following year. UnlikeBlind Date, contestants would not sit in front of a studio audience, but would be 'hidden' behind real-time animations as they dated each other. Each episode would conclude with the contestant picking their preferred animated character before meeting the real-life person. Production costs, however, were too high and the show was pulled.

and on 28 November 2009 appeared on Sky 1 to presentTV's Greatest Endings.

Benidorm.

At the 2001 Royal Variety Performance , Black performed a scene from the musicalGypsyalongside Paul O'Grady (in his role as Lily Savage) and Barbara Windsor , in which she wore an infamous dress that lit up hearts in various places. She reportedly had not told O'Grady (who talked her into doing it) what the dress was going to be, and during the performance, Savage (O'Grady) made the comment: "Mind you, don't singe yourself!"[citation needed]Black replied back, "You said you weren't going to do that, Savage!"

50 years in showbusiness[edit]

The One and Only Cilla Black, starred Black alongside Paul O'Grady, who hosted the show. The show celebrated Black's career and included a special trip back to Black's home city of Liverpool, a host of celebrity friends and some surprise music guests. Black paid homage toBlind Datewith the return of its most popular contestants and saw her star in a special edition ofCoronation Street.

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 Cilla Black's Personal life

The Guardian, Black claimed that she was "apolitical".TheLiverpool Echoalso quoted her as saying: "as for the politics thing, I'm not a Conservative."

opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue .

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 Cilla Black's Death

Following the results of a post-mortem examination , her sons confirmed that Black had died from a stroke following a fall in her Spanish villa.The ten-page pathologist's report confirmed that Black had suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage after falling backwards and hitting her head, it was thought, on a terrace wall. It was believed she had not been found for at least four hours.

Black had been suffering with rheumatoid arthritis for years and was in "considerable agony" towards the end of her life.

Paul McCartney , Ringo Starr , Sheridan Smith , Holly Johnson , Cliff Richard and Paul O'Grady were among friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry who expressed their sorrow at Black's death. Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck , who had been a friend for decades, said, "She was the girl next door that everybody loved and would have loved as a daughter, a daughter-in-law."Songwriter Burt Bacharach said, "It will always be a most special memory for me of recording her on Alfie in Abbey Road Studios in 1965." Broadcaster Noel Edmonds said that she "captured the hearts of the British people" because "she was our Cilla - there were no airs and graces".

She was buried in a private ceremony at Allerton Cemetery in Allerton on the same day.On 21 August 2015, the day after her funeral,The Very Best of Cilla Black, a compilation album of her hit songs, went to number one on the UK Albums Chart . It was Black's first number one album.

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 Cilla Black's Selected TV credits

YearProgrammeRole
1966 Cilla at the Savoy presenter
1968–1976 presenter
1975 actor
1976 actor
1983 Cilla's Christmas Show presenter
1984–2001 Surprise Surprise presenter
1985–2003 Blind Date presenter
1993 Cilla's Celebrations special guest/presenter
1998–2001 The Moment of Truth presenter
2006 Soapstar Superstar judge
2006–2010 The Paul O'Grady Show
2007 The Sunday Night Project guest presenter
2007, 2013 Room 101
2009 TV's Greatest Endings presenter
2009–14 Loose Women
2012 Cilla's Unswung Sixties presenter
2011 Benidorm
2011 Never Mind the Buzzcocks
2013 Your Face Sounds Familiar
The One & Only Cilla Black

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 Cilla Black's Awards

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 Cilla Black's Books

Autobiographies[edit]

  • Step Inside(1985), London: Dent , ISBN 0-460-04695-0
  • What's It All About?(2003), London: Ebury Press , ISBN 0-09-189036-5

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 Cilla Black's References

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  8. Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. New York: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 264–265. ISBN 0-316-80352-9. 
  9. "Cilla Black: Singer who was signed by Brian Epstein and went on to forge a successful career as a much-loved presenter". The Independent. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  10. Cilla Black. What's It All About?. Random House. p. 65. ISBN 1407025163. 
  11. Douglas Thompson (4 September 2014). Cilla - Queen of the Swinging Sixties. John Blake Publishing, Limited. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-1-78418-006-5. 
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  29. "Cilla & Co In A Scouse Panto Cracker". Liverpool Echo. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  30. Lee, Veronica (22 December 2008). "Cilla Sparkles In An Evening Of Fabness". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  31. "We Love Cilla Black". Liverpool Echo. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  32. "Cilla Black celebrating her 45th Year (Press Release)". CillaBlack.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. 
  33. MacFarlaine, Victoria (17 December 2010). "Cilla Black stars in Cinderella at Aylesbury Waterside". Bucks Free Press. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. 
  34. "This really IS The VERY Best of Cilla Black! (All the hits – new remixes and a DVD of ‘Cilla at the Savoy’)". CillaBlack.com. 22 September 2013. Archived from the original on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
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  39. Biggins, Christopher (2009). Just Biggins: My Story. John Blake. ISBN 1844546543. 
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  41. "Black,Cilla (1943-) Biography". BFI. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  42. "Cilla is "so excited" to be a judge on ITV’s new talent show ‘Soapstar Superstar’". CillaBlack.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  43. "Eating with...". BBC. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
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  46. "Welsh roots 'surprise' for Cilla". BBC News. 21 February 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  47. "Workhouse surprise for Cilla". Liverpool Echo. 7 June 2007. Retrieved September 2014. 
  48. "Cilla Black Returns To TV With Animated Dating Show". contactmusic.com. 6 August 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
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  50. "Sheridan Smith to play Cilla Black in new ITV drama". BBC News. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
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  52. "Sheridan Smith to star as Cilla Black in new ITV drama". Digital Spy. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  53. "Cilla Black's tears over the death of premature baby girl 'Ellen' 34 years ago". Daily Mail (London). 8 October 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  54. Smith, Giles (12 October 1993), "The only bird in a beat boy's world", The Independent (London) 
  55. Emma Brockes (2004-06-14). "'I was dead chuffed'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
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  58. Kassam, Ashifa; Gayle, Damien (3 August 2015). "Cilla Black may have died as result of an accident, say Spanish police". The Guardian. London. 
  59. "Cilla Black Died From Stroke After Fall". News.sky.com. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  60. Harley, Nicola (6 August 2015). "Cilla Black may have had a chance of survival had she been found straight away". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  61. Nicola Methven (13 May 2014). "Cilla Black: I still want to die at 75 even though it's only four years away". Mirror. 
  62. Youngs, Ian (3 August 2015). "Cilla Black 'knew she was dying', friend says". BBC News. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  63. Richards, Chris (2015-08-10). "Cilla Black carried on working for years 'despite battling crippling arthritis pain' - 3am & Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  64. Watson, Leon (2 August 2015). "Cilla Black dead: Tributes flood in for much-loved showbiz legend". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  65. James Meikle. "Tributes to Cilla Black, 'Liverpool's Cinderella', pour in". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
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  79. "Cilla Black to receive Bafta Special Award". BBC News. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
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