Cliff Richard is one of the UK’s most durable pop/rock stars – gaining number one hits over five different decades. He has sold over 260 million records and has achieved 14 number ones in five consecutive decades – the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Cliff Richard rose to fame in the 1950s and cemented his position as one of the leading rock acts before the advent of the Beatles. Although the Beatles eclipsed his status, he maintained an enduring appeal for many generations.
In the mid-1960s, he made a firm commitment to his Christian faith and at one time considered giving up his rock career because it was detrimental to a spiritual life. However, friends encouraged him to continue which he did, though much of his future work was softer than his initial rock phase. In the 1980s and 1990s, he increasingly recorded songs with explicitly Christian themes – these often proved very successful such as Mistletoe and Wine, Saviours Day and Millennium Prayer – two of these were Christmas number ones.
Because of his Christianity, his records have not always been played on some radio stations because he is considered un-cool. Cliff Richard observes that many histories of British pop music fail to mention him, despite his status and impact through five decades. Cliff Richard has said that his lifestyle choice has, in a way, been a rare counterpoint to the typical rock and roll lifestyle of sex, drugs and alcohol.
Cliff Richard has been a lifelong bachelor. He currently lives with John McElynn a former Roman Catholic Priest; though he has denied he is gay and is supportive of the idea of gay marriage. He once considered marriage to tennis star Sue Barker.
Outside of music, Cliff is involved in numerous charities and foundations. He donates 10% of his income to charities, preferring charities involved in research into better medical treatment.
He has also been involved in several films, of which, The Young Ones (1961) is perhaps best known.
In 2014, Cliff Richard was the subject of false accusations which were later dismissed. However, media coverage of the accusations and police interest caused considerable upset to Cliff Richard who felt his name was tarnished by association.
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Cliff Richard”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 1st Jan. 2009. Last updated 1 March 2018
Cliff Richard: The Bachelor Boy
- Cliff Richard: The Bachelor Boy at Amazon.com
- Cliff Richard: The Bachelor Boy at Amazon.co.uk
Famous English people – Famous English men and women. From Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth I to Henry VIII and Winston Churchill. Includes the great poets – William Shakespeare, William Blake and William Wordsworth.
Great Briton list – Top 100 famous Britons as voted by a BBC poll. Including Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Thomas Cromwell and Queen Elizabeth I.
Image of Cliff Richard by Allan Warren CC – SA