Cliff Richard – Popular but Enigmatic

The Many Faces of Sir Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard was knighted on 25 October 1995, the first rock star to be so honoured.

My wife Lilian even today still remembers Cliff Richard as a 16year-old lad hitting the lamplights with such hits as Living Doll, Travelling Light, Summer Holiday, Starry Eyes & others. We were then in college in England. We enjoyed his singing then as we still enjoy his evergreen songs.

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Sir Cliff Richard, OBE (born Harry Rodger Webb; 14 October 1940) is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor, and philanthropist. John Lennon once claimed that “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music.” A conversion to Christianity and subsequent softening of his music later led to a more middle of the road pop image, sometimes venturing into gospel music, as opposed to his early days (pre-Beatles period) as a rebel rock and roll singer.

For over 50 years, Richard has dominated the British entertainment world, amassing many gold and platinum discs and awards, including three Brit awards and two Ivor Novello awards. Richard is the biggest selling singles artist of all time in the UK, with total sales of over 21million and has reportedly sold an estimated 250 million records worldwide.

Richard has never achieved the same impact in the United States nor Canada despite his immense popularity. He had been in the top 40 in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

He has remained a popular music, film, and television personality in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Europe and Asia, and retains a following in other countries. (Wikipedia)

Sir Cliff, a poster boy for the Christian faith, defends his decision to remain a “Bachelor Boy.” In his book, titled ‘My Life, My Way’, he writes:”People often make the mistake of thinking that only marriage equals happiness.” He denies he is gay.

He had a close relationship with Sue Barker in 1982 and was even rumoured to be romantically linked with Olivia Newton John, with whom he sang many a duet. According to a reliable source, for the first time recently he talks about his close relationship with a former Roman Catholic priest, and calls on the Church of England to approve same-sex marriages. He and Fr McElynn now live together.

On this question of his personal life, which is rampantly asked in the British media, Steve Turner, who wrote a biography of Sir Cliff in 1993, said: “Of all the people I’ve interviewed, from David Bowie to the Beatles, he’s the one most people ask me about. With Cliff, there’s always that element of uncertainty and puzzlement, because there’s something unresolved about his image.”

Play the YouTube Video & Enjoy His Songs: