Paul McCartney has issued a statement following the death of Cilla Black in Spain on the weekend.
Paul McCartney released his own statement on Black. “Such a shock to hear about Cilla’s passing. She was a lovely girl who infected everyone with her great spirit. From first meeting her as a cloak room girl at the Cavern in Liverpool, to seeing her many times since, she always had a fun-loving dignity that made her a great pleasure to be around.”
Black’s agent, Nick Fiveash, confirmed her passing by saying “It is with deep sorrow that I confirm… the passing of singer and TV personality Cilla Black. Details of her death will be announced following the coroner’s report. Her family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Black was born in Liverpool and started working in the coat check at the Cavern Club in hopes of finding a way into the entertainment industry. Local promoter Sam Leach booked her as “Swinging Cilla” at the Casanova Club and went on to be a guest singer with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes and the Big Three.
Cilla’s father eventually had her sign with Brian Epstein in 1963 and Epstein introduced her to George Martin who signed her with Parlophone Records. Her first single, Love of the Loved, was written by McCartney and John Lennon but only peaked at 35 in the U.K. Her second single, Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s Anyone Who Had a Heart, broke out hitting number 1 in both Britain and Ireland.
In mid-1964, she released her one U.S. hit as her third single, You’re My World. While it only went to a modest 26 on the U.S. charts, it once again hit the top of the British charts. Overall, Black had eleven top ten hits in the U.K. between 1964 and 1971.
Beyond her singing, Black developed an even more successful career on television, first guesting on shows during the mid-60 and starring in a concert special, Cilla at the Savoy, and later as the host of a long line of variety and game shows including Cilla (1968 to 1976), Surprise Surprise (1984 to 2001), Blind Date (1985 to 2003) and The Moment of Truth (1998 to 2001).
Black was married to her manager after Epstein, Bobby Wills, for thirty years until his death in 1999. She is survived by three sons.
Cilla Black’s top ten hits:
Anyone Who Had a Heart (1964 / #1 U.K.)
You’re My World (1964 / #1 Aus / #1 U.K. / #26 U.S.)
It’s For You (1964 / #20 Aus / #7 U.K. / #79 U.S.)
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1965 / #2 Aus / #2 U.K.)
Love’s Just a Broken Heart (1966 / #5 U.K.)
Alfie (1966 / #10 Aus / #9 U.K. / #95 U.S.)
Don’t Answer Me (1966 / #6 U.K.)
Step Inside Love (1968 / #8 U.K.)
Surround Yourself With Sorrow (1969 / #26 Aus / #3 U.K.)
Conversations (1969 / #7 U.K.)
Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight) (1971 / #3 U.K.)
Her top ten albums:
Cilla (1965 / #5 U.K.)
Cilla Sings a Rainbow (1966 / #4 U.K.)
Sher-oo! (1968 / #7 U.K.)
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