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Old 02-08-15, 18:45   #1
 
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Breaking News The Beatles Close Friend Cilla Black Has Died

Cilla Black’s Son Arrives at Spanish Villa Where Britain’s Showbiz Queen Died of Natural Causes Aged 72

  • 72-year-old former Blind Date star has died at her home in Marbella, Spain
  • It is understood she jetted to Spain a few days ago with one of her sons
  • Tributes paid to the 'first lady of showbiz' after the loss of a 'rare talent'
  • Revealed in 2010 how she hoped to die at 75 before illness could prevent her from living life to the full
Daily Mail UK, 2 August 2015




Cilla Black has died aged 72, police said today. A Spanish police spokesman said: 'I can confirm the death of British national Priscilla White, aged 72.

We are still awaiting autopsy results but everything at this stage is pointing towards her death being the result of natural causes.'

Most of the shutters were down at the entertainer's house near Marbella (inset) this morning and there was no answer at the door. Police sources said they thought the death had occurred overnight and they believed Black, who suffered from hearing problems and arthritis, had jetted to Spain a few days ago with one of her three sons.

This afternoon, one of her sons, Ben Willis (left), arrived at the house. Pictured: Cilla as a popstar in 1960 (left), on TV show Surprise Surprise in 1997 (centre) and at a charity event in London in May (right).

Earlier, a Spaniard who identified himself as a police officer was stood outside the front of the property talking on the phone before driving off in a Seat Alhambra car around midday.
Police sources said they thought the death had occurred overnight and they believed Cilla, who suffered from hearing problems and arthritis, had jetted to Spain a few days ago with one of her three sons.

Her publicist Nick Fiveash said in a brief statement: 'It is with deep sorrow that I confirm today the passing of singer and TV personality Cilla Black. Details of her death will be announced following the coroner's report.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman added this afternoon: 'We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Spain.'

Cilla’s eldest son and manager Robert, who is understood to have been holidaying in Spain with his mother, was not at her property today. He is thought to be staying at another house nearby.

A friend said: 'He is obviously very upset at what happened and does not want to talk publicly about it at the moment.'

A family friend said Cilla’s other two sons, Ben and Jack, were told the sad news on Saturday night and had already made arrangements to fly to Spain.
An autopsy is due to take place tomorrow in the provincial capital Malaga.

Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who paid tribute to the former singer today, tweeting: 'Cilla Black was a huge talent who made a significant contribution to public life in Britain. My thoughts are with her family.'

Sir Cliff Richard said he will miss his 'outrageous' friend dearly as he led tributes from the world of showbusiness.
'Some people will always be with us and Cilla is one of those people,' he said.











Home: Most of the shutters were down at the entertainer’s house near Marbella (above) this morning


Spanish Villa 'Casa Roll' where Cilla Black passed away





'I will always think of her as outrageous, funny, incredibly gifted but above all full of heart. She was a very special person, and I have lost a very wonderful friend, I will miss her dearly. God bless her.'

And actress Joan Collins wrote: 'I am so sad and shocked by news about my good friend Cilla. She was a resplendent and rare talent. RIP.'

X Factor judge and singer Cheryl Fernandez-Versini said: 'So sad to learn of the passing of Cilla Black. A true national treasure who holds some of my favourite childhood memories. ŁRIPCilla.'

Dailymail.com editor at large Piers Morgan described the legendary entertainer as a 'great talent'.
'Cilla was a real national treasure. She was a huge pop star and very unusually she became just as successful in a new sphere television. She was such a consummate, all round presenter. How many people have been a proper star over six decades?

'She was always with a glass of champagne in her hand but never suffered fools. She always had an impact in a room - you always knew she was there.'

Former Queen guitarist Brian May posted a video of her singing on his Facebook page, after writing: 'The wonderful Cilla Black has died. How very sad. RIP.'








Cilla Black and her husband Bobby Willis (top), who died in 1999, and with close friend Sir Cliff Richard





Singer: Cilla Black pictured in 1960. Police sources said they thought the death had occurred overnight and they believed Cilla had jetted to Spain a few days ago with one of her three sons.





As a singer, Cilla had two number one singles at the start of a career in showbusiness that spanned than five decades.

Championed by The Beatles, she began her career as a singer in 1963, and her singles 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' and 'You're My World' both topped the charts while she had eleven Top Ten hits between 1964 and 1971.


Cilla made her television debut in 1968 with Cilla, welcoming guests from Sir Tom Jones to Sir Cliff Richard.


She went on to become a huge hit on television, hosting Blind Date from 1985 to 2013 and Surprise Surprise from 1984 to 2001.

With the help of her popular feel-good evening entertainment shows, Black became one of the most watched women in British television history and secured her place as a national treasure.

She celebrated 50 years in television in 2013.

This afternoon, it was revealed that a sign had been lovingly pinned at Liverpool's famous Cavern Club where Cilla began her music career.
It says The Cavern Club is 'sad to announce the passing of its famous cloak room girl & performer Cilla Black'.

In December, Cilla revealed how she was struggling with deafness and arthritis and said she was ‘falling apart’ as she received an award to mark her long career.
She admitted she no longer felt able to work, despite receiving several offers since ITV screened Cilla, a three-part drama about her early career in which she was played by Sheridan Smith.

In the interview, she said she often spent time in the Caribbean where she had a home in Barbados, but that she was now going there out of medical necessity.

Earlier in 2014 she revealed earlier she had a cochlear implant inserted in her ear to try to stop her going deaf.





Cilla Black is pictured with son Robert Willis and his new wife Fiona after their wedding at St Mary The Virgin Church in Denham, Buckinghamshire in August, 2001






Proud moment: Cilla Black is pictured with her son Jack, after receiving her OBE from the Queen in August 2003


Cilla Black on her biggest life achievements after BAFTA win






Despite her medical troubles, she insisted at the time that she was ‘embracing old age’ and ‘didn't care’ about getting older.

In 2010 she revealed that she hoped to die at 75 before any illness prevented her from living life to the full.


But on reaching 70 the entertainer said she had second thoughts after Sir Bruce Forsyth, 86, reprimanded her.

'I saw Brucie and he told me off,' she said at the Bafta television awards.

In May last year she said she was 'over the moon' after receiving an outstanding contribution prize at the Bafta Television Awards.

A month later, her Spanish villa nearly went up in flames after someone threw a cigarette under her hedge.


A quick-thinking neighbour saved the star’s property by dashing out in his pyjamas and a hose after spotting the bush around the property had caught light.
Firefighters were called to finish the job and put the flames out.

The Liverpudlian was born on May 27 1943. She was married to her manager Bobby Willis for 30 years until he passed away in 1999 at the age of 57 leaving her devastated.
She leaves three sons, Robert, Ben and Jack, and two grandchildren.


Quote:
CILLA BLACK: FROM CLOAKROOM ASSISTANT TO QUEEN OF '90s TELEVISION

Cilla Black was a 1960s pop star of the Beatles era who became one of the most highly paid and successful light entertainment performers in the history of British television.
Hers was a remarkable career by any standards. Few of the pop singers of that era lasted more than a decade in the limelight.

But Cilla, 72, whose rare talents were matched by a phenomenal capacity for hard work, remained in the public eye and at the highest level for approaching half a century.

Her hugely successful TV series, notably Blind Date and Surprise! Surprise! were for years a staple diet for Saturday night viewing.

Cilla's enduring popularity stemmed largely from her amiable nature and her proud Liverpudlian accent, addressing people affectionately as "chuck" and her breezy "lorra, lorra laughs" catch-phrases.

She was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on May 27, 1943 and was encouraged to sing by her family. In the early 1960s she got a part-time job as a cloakroom attendant at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles regularly played.





Cilla Black's second single, the Burt Bacharach-Hal David composition, Anyone Who Had A Heart shot to Number One


She quickly impressed the Beatles and others with her talent, when she gave impromptu performances at the Cavern. At this time, she also worked as a waitress in the Zodiac coffee lounge, where she met her future husband and manager Bobby Willis.

Cilla was introduced to Brian Epstein by John Lennon who persuaded him to audition her. In September, 1963, Epstein signed her up as his only female client.



Her debut single, Love of the Loved, written for her by Lennon and McCartney, was a relative failure. But her second single the Burt Bacharach-Hal David composition, Anyone Who Had A Heart shot to Number One and became the biggest-selling single by a female artist in the history of British popular music.

This launched her on an extraordinary pop career, with 20 consecutive Top 40 hits on the British single and EP charts, including 11 British Top Ten singles and two consecutive Number One singles in 1964.





Cilla, 72, whose rare talents were matched by a phenomenal capacity for hard work, remained in the public eye and at the highest level for approaching half a century


Her hits included You're My World, Alfie, the theme song from the Michael Caine film of that name, and Step Inside Love.

Cilla's pop career persisted until the end of the 1960s, by which time she was an internationally-acclaimed star, having notably successfully broken into the notoriously difficult United States market.

She branched into acting with 1964's Ferry Across the Mersey, which featured Gerry & The Pacemakers, also out of Epstein's stable.
But by August 1967, only days before his premature death, Epstein had engineered Cilla's switch to television. It was a shrewd move and, largely through her own sheer drive, she remained at the height of popularity until the end of the century and beyond.

Her own variety show for the BBC regularly commanded staggering audiences of 22 million. So while her pop career was declining she was developing into the most popular figure on television.
It was this resounding TV success which was eclipsing her musical career, although she always said she preferred to be remembered for her songs than for anything else.

Blind Date (1985-2003), Surprise! Surprise! (1984-1999) and Moment of Truth (1998-2001) never lost their popularity during their long and successful runs.

Cilla was awarded an OBE in 1997. In 2005, her autobiography What's It All About? became a best-seller. She has been the recipient of many TV honours and awards.

Willis. her husband and manager, to whom she was married for over 30 years, died in the late 1990s.
She is survived by three sons, one of whom, Robert, succeeded his father as her manager.
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