115 Facts About Cliff Richard


Cliff Richard's 1958 hit single "Move It" is often described as Britain's first authentic rock and roll song.


Cliff Richard has had 67 UK top ten singles, the second highest total for an artist.


Cliff Richard holds the record, with Presley, as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades.


Cliff Richard has achieved 14 UK No 1 singles, and is the only singer to have had a No 1 single in the UK in each of five consecutive decades.


Cliff Richard had four UK Christmas No 1 singles, two of which were as a solo artist; "Mistletoe and Wine" and "Saviour's Day".


Cliff Richard has sold more than 250 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.


Cliff Richard has never achieved the same popularity in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore".


Cliff Richard has remained a popular music, film, and television personality at home in the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Europe and Asia, and retains a following in other countries.


Cliff Richard was born Harry Rodger Webb on 14 October 1940 at King George's Hospital, Victoria Street, in Lucknow, which was then part of British India.


Cliff Richard's parents were Rodger Oscar Webb, a manager for a catering contractor that serviced the Indian Railways, and the former Dorothy Marie Dazely.


Cliff Richard's parents spent some years in Howrah, West Bengal.


Cliff Richard is primarily of English heritage, but he had one great-grandmother who was of half Welsh and half Spanish descent, born of a Spanish great-great-grandmother named Emiline Joseph Rebeiro.


Cliff Richard then attended Cheshunt Secondary Modern School from 1952 to 1957.


Cliff Richard then started work as a filing clerk for Atlas Lamps.


The name Cliff Richard was adopted as it sounded like "cliff face", which suggested "Rock".


Cliff Richard was permitted to record one of his own songs for the B-side; this was "Move It", written and composed by the Drifters' Samwell while he was on board a number 715 Green Line bus on the way to Cliff Richard's house for a rehearsal.


The band has appeared and record with Cliff Richard and wrote many of his hits.


In 1960 they toured the United States and were well-received, but lacklustre support and distribution from a revolving door of American record labels proved an obstacle to long-term success there despite several chart records by Cliff Richard including the aforementioned "It's All in the Game" on Epic, via a renewed linking of the worldwide Columbia labels after Philips ended its distribution deal with CBS.


Cliff Richard continued to be popular, and have hits in the charts throughout the 1960s, though not at the level that he had enjoyed before.


Cliff Richard intended at first to "reform his ways" and become a teacher, but Christian friends advised him not to abandon his career just because he had become an active Christian.


Cliff Richard still recorded secular songs with the Shadows, but devoted a lot of his time to Christian work, including appearances with the Billy Graham crusades.


Cliff Richard continued having international hits, including 1967's "The Day I Met Marie", which reached No 10 in the UK Singles Chart and No 5 in the Australian charts.


Cliff Richard acted in the 1967 film Two a Penny, released by Billy Graham's World Wide Pictures, in which he played Jamie Hopkins, a young man who gets involved in drug dealing while questioning his life after his girlfriend changes her attitude.


Cliff Richard released the live album Cliff in Japan in 1967.


In 1968, Cliff Richard sang the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, "Congratulations", written and composed by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter; it lost by one point to Spain's "La La La".


Cliff Richard began 1970 by appearing live on the BBC's review of the sixties music scene, Pop Go The Sixties, which was broadcast across Britain and Europe on 31 December 1969.


Cliff Richard performed "Bachelor Boy" with the Shadows and "Congratulations" solo.


Cliff Richard went on to release a double live album, Cliff Live in Japan 1972, which featured Newton-John.


Cliff Richard's final acting role on the silver screen to date was in 1973, when he starred in the film Take Me High.


Cliff Richard hosted the BBC's qualifying heat for the Eurovision Song Contest, A Song for Europe, in 1970,1971 and 1972 as part of his BBCTV variety series.


Cliff Richard presented the Eurovision Song Contest Previews for the BBC in 1971 and 1972.


Cliff Richard's fans were excited about this revival of a performer who had been a part of British rock from its early days.


Notwithstanding this, Cliff Richard continued to release albums with contemporary Christian music content in parallel with his rock and pop albums, for example: Small Corners from 1978 contained the single "Yes He Lives".


In 1979, Cliff Richard teamed up with producer Bruce Welch for the pop hit single "We Don't Talk Anymore", written and composed by Alan Tarney, which hit No 1 in the UK and No 7 in the US.


Later in 1979, Cliff Richard performed with Kate Bush at the London Symphony Orchestra's 75th anniversary celebration at the Royal Albert Hall.


In 1981, the single "Wired for Sound" hit No 4 in the UK and became Cliff Richard's biggest hit in Australia since the early 1960s.


Cliff Richard was amassing a string of top ten albums, including I'm No Hero, Wired for Sound, Now You See Me, Now You Don't, a live album he recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra titled Dressed for the Occasion, and Silver, marking his 25th year in show business in 1983.


In 1986, Cliff Richard reached No 1 by teaming up with The Young Ones to re-record his smash hit "Living Doll" for the charity Comic Relief.


That same year Cliff Richard opened in the West End as a rock musician called upon to defend Earth in a trial set in the Andromeda Galaxy in the multi-media Dave Clark musical Time.


Cliff Richard's car was a write-off as another car swerved and braked hard.


Cliff Richard hurt his back in the accident but was not seriously injured.


Cliff Richard said that his seatbelt had prevented him from flying through the windscreen.


In October 1986, "All I Ask of You", a duet that Cliff Richard recorded with Sarah Brightman from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical version of The Phantom of the Opera reached No 3 in the UK singles chart.


Cliff Richard concluded his thirtieth year in music by achieving a UK Christmas No 1 single in 1988 with "Mistletoe and Wine", while simultaneously holding the No 1 positions on the album and video charts with the compilation Private Collection, which summed up his biggest hits from 1979 to 1988.


In May 1989, Cliff Richard released his 100th single, "The Best of Me", becoming the first British artist to achieve the feat.


Also in 1989, Cliff Richard received the Brits highest award: "The Outstanding Contribution award".


On 30 June 1990, Cliff Richard performed to an estimated 120,000 people at England's Knebworth Park as part of an all-star concert line-up that included Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Elton John and Tears for Fears.


However, it was with the Christmas single "Saviour's Day" that Cliff Richard scored his 13th UK No 1 single and his 100th top 40 hit.


In 1994, the compilation The Hit List was released; meanwhile in the background, Richard was concentrating on bringing the musical Heathcliff to the stage.


On 17 June 1995, Cliff Richard was appointed a Knight Bachelor, becoming the first rock star to be so honoured.


In 1998, Cliff Richard demonstrated that radio stations were refusing to play his music when he released a dance remix of his forthcoming single "Can't Keep This Feeling In" on a white label using the alias Blacknight.


Cliff Richard then released the single under his own name as the lead single for his album Real as I Wanna Be, with each reaching No 10 in the UK on their respective charts.


Cliff Richard took it to an independent label, Papillon, which released the charity recording.


Cliff Richard went to Nashville, Tennessee for his next album project in 2004, employing a writers' conclave to give him the pick of all new songs for the album Something's Goin' On.


On 14 June 2004, Cliff Richard joined the Shadows on-stage at the London Palladium.


Two's Company, an album of duets released in 2006, was another top-10 success for Cliff Richard and included newly recorded material with Brian May, Dionne Warwick, Anne Murray, Barry Gibb and Daniel O'Donnell, plus some previously recorded duets with artists such as Phil Everly, Elton John and Olivia Newton-John.


In June 2009, it was reported by Sound Kitchen Studios in Nashville that Cliff Richard was to return there shortly to record a new album of original recordings of jazz songs.


Cliff Richard was to record fourteen tracks in a week.


Cliff Richard performed "Congratulations" at the 70th birthday celebrations of Queen Margrethe II in Denmark on 13 April 2010.


On 14 October 2010, Cliff Richard celebrated his 70th birthday and to mark the occasion, he performed a series of six concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London.


Cliff Richard made a surprise appearance at the Antwerp concert of the Night of the Proms on Thursday, 28 October 2010 and sang "We Don't Talk Anymore" to a great reaction from the surprised 20,000 fans at Sportpaleis Antwerp.


Cliff Richard performed a selection of hits and tracks from the Bold As Brass album.


In October 2011, Cliff Richard released his Soulicious album, containing duets with American soul singers including Percy Sledge, Ashford and Simpson, Roberta Flack, Freda Payne and Candi Staton.


Cliff Richard was among the performers at the Diamond Jubilee concert held outside Buckingham Palace in June 2012.


On 30 June 2012, Cliff Richard helped to carry the Olympic torch from Derby to Birmingham as part of the torch relay for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.


Cliff Richard said that his run with the Olympic torch would be one of his top-10 memories.


Cliff Richard was involved in a campaign to extend copyright on sound recordings in the UK from 50 to 95 years, and extend the number of years on which a musician can receive royalties.


In November 2013, Cliff Richard released the 100th album of his career, The Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll Songbook.


Cliff Richard was scheduled to open for Morrissey at a live concert at New York's 19,000-capacity Barclays Center on 21 June 2014.


Cliff Richard announced that he would stage a free show for fans in New York on the same night the cancelled concert was due to take place.


In October 2015, Cliff Richard performed on tour to mark his 75th birthday.


Cliff Richard took to the stage across seven cities in the UK, including six nights at London's Royal Albert Hall, where he has performed on over 100 occasions during his career.


Cliff Richard performed a duet with Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler on "Taking Control" that appeared on her 2019 studio album, Between the Earth and the Stars.


On 4 July 2022, Cliff Richard sang his 1963 hit "Summer Holiday" at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, as part of the Centenary Celebration.


Cliff Richard has openly complained about the lack of commercial support he receives from radio stations and record labels.


Cliff Richard spoke about this on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV in December 2007, pointing out that while new bands needed airplay for promotion and sales, long-established artists such as himself relied upon airplay for the same reasons.


Cliff Richard noted that 1980s radio stations did play his records and that this went some way to help sales and maintain his media presence.


In 1998, Chris Evans, the then breakfast show host on Virgin Radio, vowed he would never again play a record by Cliff Richard, stating that he was "too old".


Cliff Richard has spoken of his irritation about other stars who are praised after taking drugs.


Cliff Richard said he is proud that he never adopted the hedonistic lifestyle of a typical rock star.


Cliff Richard has criticised the music industry for encouraging artists to court controversy.


In December 2013, Cliff Richard said that he felt two of his singles, "Mistletoe and Wine" and "The Millennium Prayer", had created a negative reaction against him.


At the age of 22, a year after his relationship with Delia Wicks ended, Cliff Richard had a brief romance with the actress Una Stubbs.


Later in the 1960s, Cliff Richard considered marriage to the dancer Jackie Irving.


Cliff Richard described Irving as "utterly beautiful" and says for a time they were "inseparable".


Cliff Richard first met Barker in 1982, when she was aged 25.


Cliff Richard said that his faith in God was tested in 1999 after the murder of his close friend, the British television presenter Jill Dando.


Cliff Richard has spoken of his friendship with John McElynn, an American former missionary whom he met in 2001 on a visit to New York City.


Cliff Richard has become a companion, which is great because I don't like living alone, even now.


Cliff Richard has been a family friend of the Northern Irish broadcaster Gloria Hunniford for over forty years.


When Hunniford's daughter Caron Keating was diagnosed with breast cancer and chose to keep her illness private from the public, Cliff Richard was among a small close circle of friends who knew of Keating's condition.


When Keating died in April 2004, Cliff Richard attended her funeral in Kent and performed his song "Miss You Nights" in tribute to her.


In 2006, Cliff Richard received a Portuguese Order in which he was appointed Commander of the Order of Prince Henry, this in recognition of his forty years of personal and business involvement in that country which included investments in winemaking and a house in Algarve where he has spent part of the year throughout the decades.


Cliff Richard finished No 56 in the 2002 100 Greatest Britons list, sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public.


Cliff Richard called on the Church of England to affirm people's commitment in same-sex marriage.


In 2010, Cliff Richard confirmed that he is no longer a resident of the United Kingdom and had been granted citizenship by Barbados.


In 1971, Cliff Richard was a leading supporter of the Nationwide Festival of Light, a movement formed by British Christians who were concerned about the development of the permissive society.


Cliff Richard joined public figures such as Malcolm Muggeridge, Mary Whitehouse and Bishop Trevor Huddleston to demonstrate in London "for love and family life, against pornography and moral pollution".


Cliff Richard was one of approximately 30,000 people who gathered at London's Trafalgar Square for a demonstration.


Since March 1966, Cliff Richard has followed the practice of giving away at least one-tenth of his income to charity.


Cliff Richard has stated that two biblical principles have guided him in how to use his money.


For over forty years Cliff Richard has been a supporter of Tearfund, a Christian charity that aims to tackle poverty in many countries across the world.


Cliff Richard has made overseas visits to see their work in Uganda, Bangladesh and Brazil.


Cliff Richard has donated to the dementia research charity, Alzheimer's Research UK.


Cliff Richard has helped to raise funds and awareness of the disease by speaking publicly about his mother's condition.


Cliff Richard pulled out of a visit to the US Open tennis championships, turned down the freedom of his adopted Portuguese home city of Albufeira, and cancelled a scheduled appearance at Canterbury Cathedral because he did not want the event to be "overshadowed by the false allegation".


Cliff Richard subsequently returned to the UK and voluntarily met with and was interviewed by members of South Yorkshire Police.


Cliff Richard subsequently released a statement maintaining that the allegations were "absurd and untrue".


Cliff Richard said he was "obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close".


On 21 June 2016, the BBC apologised publicly to Cliff Richard for causing distress after the controversial broadcast.


In October 2016, it was reported that Cliff Richard was suing the BBC and South Yorkshire Police.


Cliff Richard's written statement was made available online by his lawyers, Simkins LLP.


The BBC repeated an apology for the distress that Cliff Richard had been through.


Cliff Richard's 1958 hit "Move It" is widely regarded as the first authentic British rock and roll record, and "laid the foundations" for the Beatles and Merseybeat music.


Cliff Richard's successful performing and recording career in the UK has extended over six decades.