Cilla Black (Priscilla Maria Veronica Black)

Cilla Black

Priscilla Maria Veronica White OBE (27 May 1943 – 1 August 2015), known by her stage name Cilla Black, was an English singer, television presenter, actress, and author. Championed by her friends 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 reached number one in the UK in 1964. Black had eleven Top Ten hits on the British charts between then and 1971. In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 showed that her version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” was the UK’s biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960s. “You’re My World” was also a modest hit in the US, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s and early 1970s, Black hosted her own variety show, Cilla, for the BBC between 1968 and 1976. After a brief time as a comedy actress in the mid-1970s, she became a prominent television presenter in the 1980s and 1990s, hosting hit entertainment shows such as Blind Date (1985–2003), The Moment of Truth (1998–2001) and Surprise Surprise (1984–2001). Cilla Black’s most notable television performances after her resignation from LWT included Parkinson, So Graham Norton, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Room 101 twice (once with Paul Merton and once with the current host, Frank Skinner), and a one off show titled Cilla Live! for Living TV. Black was a judge on the first series of the reality TV series Soapstar Superstar, featured in an episode of the series Eating with… and guest presented editions of The Paul O’Grady Show in 2006 and The Friday Night Project for Channel 4 in 2007. In 2008 Black recorded a pilot for the Sky 1 dating show Loveland. The show was to be a ten-part “21st century” dating programme for the following year. Unlike Blind Date, contestants would not sit in front of a studio audience, but would be ‘hidden’ behind real-time animations as they dated each other. Each episode would conclude with the contestant picking their preferred animated character before meeting the real-life person. Production costs, however, were too high and the show was pulled.

In October 2009 Black guest anchored Loose Women and on 28 November 2009 appeared on Sky 1 to present TV’s Greatest Endings. Between September 2010 and June 2011 she made guest panel list appearances and in 2011 also appeared, as herself, in the first episode of series 4 of ITV’s Benidorm. At the 2001 Royal Variety Performance, Black performed a scene from the musical Gypsy alongside Paul O’Grady (in his role as Lily Savage) and Barbara Windsor, in which she wore an infamous dress that lit up hearts in various places. She reportedly had not told O’Grady (who talked her into doing it) what the dress was going to be, and during the performance, Savage (O’Grady) made the comment: “Mind you, don’t singe yourself!”[citation needed] Black replied back, “You said you weren’t going to do that, Savage!” In 2013, Cilla Black celebrated her 50 years in show business. British television network ITV honoured this milestone with a one-off entertainment special which aired on 16 October 2013. The show, called The One & Only Cilla Black, featured Black herself and was hosted by Paul O’Grady. Cilla Black died on 1 August 2015 after a fall in her villa in Estepona, Spain. The day after her funeral, the compilation album The Very Best of Cilla Black went to number one on the UK Albums Chart and the New Zealand Albums Chart; it was her first number one album.

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  • May, 27, 1943
  • United Kingdom
  • Liverpool, England


  • August, 01, 2015
  • Spain
  • Estepona, Málaga

Cause of Death

  • stroke


  • Allerton Cemetery
  • Liverpool, England
  • United Kingdom

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