With more than 250 million records sold worldwide since the beginning of his career in the 1950’s, the singer was never able to successfully break into the American music market, despite dominating the British music scene pre-Beatles
The British singer Cliff Richard turns 79
The British singer was born in Lucknow, United Provinces, British India on October 14, 1940. Richard, who remains Britain’s most successful solo artist and has sold more than 250 million records worldwide, started his career during the late 1950’s originally marketed as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Elvis Presley and with his backing group the Shadows, dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period. Despite the success he made in Europe, he was never able to break into the American market, and failed for several times despite having scored several Top 40 US singles, and he remains largely unknown from American audiences. In 1968 he represented the UK in the popular Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Congratulations” that became a hit in Europe at the time but failed to win the contest.
Look back at Cliff Richard performing one of his earliest hits “Living Doll” in 1959
During the 1970’s Richard’s career was revived and he was brought back first as a Rock singer and after as a Disco star, scoring the 1979 hit “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, featuring back vocals by Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry. During the 1980’s he had a hit, mostly in Europe, with a re-recorded version of his 1959 hit “Living Doll”. But despite those hits, his career suffered a downfall that lasts to this day, with most music critics pointing Richard’s spiritual believes and clean lifestyle that consisted in criticizing fellow musicians accusing them of vulgarity and violence, including Alice Cooper in the 1970’s, Oasis in the 1990’s and more recently Miley Cyrus. In recent years Richard has also been involved in controversy, when he was accused by a man of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager. Throughout his career and public life, he has always denied being gay, but evidence over the years have became more consistent with the rumors that Richard is gay. That particular scandal, led Richard to leave the UK, hurt by the way he was treated by the British media. For over 40 years he has lived between the UK and Portugal, recently, he left the UK, and stated he is now a citizen of Barbados, splitting the time between Barbados and Portugal, but in 2019 he relocated to the United States. In 1995, Richard was appointed a Knight Bachelor, becoming a Sir, and in 2006 received a Portuguese Order in which he was appointed Commander of the Order of Prince Henry.
Look back at Cliff Richard performing his 1979 hit “We Don’t Talk Anymore”
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