Born on May 27, 1943, in Liverpool, England, Cilla Black grew up in the Scotland Road area and studied Shipping Management at Anfield Commercial College. With strong determination to become an entertainer, Black started working part-time at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, to get close to the Beatles.
She started impromptu performance which impressed the Beatles and others. Thus, she was encouraged to start a singing career. She then appeared as ‘Swinging Cilla’ at the Casanova Club. Also, she was a guest singer with Merseybeat bands Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, King Size Taylor and the Dominoes and later, with the Big Three.
Having worked really hard during the early days of her career, she was Championed by The Beatles and her singles ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ and ‘You’re My World’ both peaked to #1 in the British charts. She also had 11 top ten hits between 1964 and 1971 and eventually became one of the prominent female singing figures in Britain.
BBC Radio 2 documented her life and considered ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ as UK’s biggest selling single by a female artist in the 60s. Having a successful career as a recording artist in 1960s and 70s, she hosted her own eponymous variety show, Cilla, for BBC for 8 years until 1976. She also worked as a comedy actress in the 70s before starting her career as a television presenter. She hosted hit entertainment shows like Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.
Cilla Black celebrated her 50 years in show-biz in 2013. She was also honoured by British television network ITV on a special show ‘The One & Only Cilla Black’. Married to her manager Bobby Willis for over 30 years, her husband died of lung cancer in 1999 and the couple had three sons.
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Songs by Cilla Black
Even though Cilla Black is primarily a presenter, she is best known amongst music lovers for her remarkable voice. She released 14 albums – excluding compilation records with two number one singles championed by The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Some of her popular songs include:
Anyone Who Had a Heart
The song was written by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics) for Dionne Warwick in 1963.
However, Warwick’s recording lost out to a cover version by Cilla Black whose version of the song became the UK number-one hit for three weeks in February/March 1964 and was also the fourth best-selling single of 1964 in the UK, with sales of around 950,000 copies.
You’re My World
The song was originally composed in Italian -“Il Mio Mondo” and came to the attention of UK record producer George Martin, who commissioned an English version to be recorded by his protégée Cilla Black.
“You’re My World” turned out successful as it reached No. 1 in Britain on the chart dated 30 May 1964 and remained on top for a total of four weeks.
It’s For You – 1964
The Beatles were still backing Cilla’s career and wrote the song specifically for the singer. It wasn’t quite the hit but fans still thought it was a wonderful song
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – 1965
The Righteous Brothers recorded the original, but Cilla made it her own. George Martin wanted to replicate the success of “Anyone Who Had A Heart” by releasing a popular cover only a year after the original did well. It was a successful strategy, leading to Cilla’s version hitting number 2 in the charts.
Don’t Answer Me – 1966
The song is said to be one of her best-known songs and showcased the best of Cilla’s voice – which is emotional enough to bring tears to your eyes.
Surround Yourself With Sorrow – 1969
Contrary to the title of the song, “Surround Yourself With Sorrow” is actually one of Cilla’s most joyous sounding tunes. It was another hit and a late 60’s anthem.
Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight) – 1971
The song was the theme of the fifth season of her TV show, as well as her last top 10 UK single – another one of the biggest seventies hits.
Step Inside Love – 1968
Cilla hit the top ten on the chart with this instant classic song written by Lennon and McCartney. The song was the theme for her 60’s TV show with another version by the Beatles.
Cilla Black Net Worth
The English singer, actress, entertainer and media personality gathered a lot of wealth from her activities in the entertainment industry. Considered among the legends of British musicians, Cilla Black died at 72 on August 2, 2015, leaving behind a whopping $25 million in assets.
Full Name: Priscilla Maria Veronica White
Profession: Singer, Entertainer, Actress, Media Personality
Height: 5 ft 6.5 in
Date of Birth: May 27, 1943- August 2, 2015
Place of Birth: Vauxhall, Liverpool, England
Education: Anfield Commercial College
Marital status: Widowed (Bobby Willis)
Astrological sign: Gemini
Died: August 2, 2015
Assets: $25 million