Cliff Richard Biography

(One of the Best-Selling Music Artists of All Time)

Birthday: October 14, 1940 (Libra)

Born In: Lucknow, India

Cliff Richard, the British Elvis Presley as he is known as, is one of the most famous pop singers and has sold a whopping 250 million records in his career. He has the third-highest number of #1 hits in the UK and was conferred knighthood for his services to the music industry. Also, he is the first pop star from the West to have toured Russia for performances. Today, he is seen as a god-like figure of rock and roll, especially in the UK, and enjoys unprecedented popularity. He is one of the very few artists whose career and life are not dotted with any sort of controversies, be it alcoholism, drug abuse, or relationships. He maintains an extremely clean image and is quite proud of it. In an interview, he once said, “I've always maintained I'm the most radical rock 'n' roll singer Britain has ever seen. I was the only one who didn't spit or swear or sleep around. I didn't do drugs. I didn't get drunk. I didn't indulge in soulless sex.” Truly, there are no controversies or rumors surrounding his life. He has always been candid about his relationships and has vowed to remain a lifelong bachelor. Know more about Richard’s life and career in the article below.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In October

Also Known As: Harry Rodger Webb

Age: 83 Years, 83 Year Old Males


father: Rodger Oscar Webb

mother: Dorothy Marie Webb

siblings: Donella Webb, Jacqueline Ann Webb, Joan Webb

Born Country: India

Pop Singers British Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

City: Lucknow, India

More Facts

awards: 1977 - Brit Awards for Best British male solo artist
1982 - Brit Awards for Best British male solo artist
1989 - Brit Awards for Lifetime achievement

1980 - TV Times Award for Most Exciting Male Singer on TV
1987- TV Times Award for Best Male Singer
1989 - TV Times Award for Favorite Singer
1970 - The Sun Reader Polls Male Pop Personality
1971 - The Sun Reader Polls Top Male Pop Personality
1972 - The Sun Reader Polls Top Male Pop Personality
1958 - NME Reader Polls Best New Disc or TV Singer
1959 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1959 - NME Reader Polls Best Single
1960 - NME Reader Polls Best UK Single
1961 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1962 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1963 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1963 - NME Reader Polls Best World Male Singer
1964 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1964 - NME Reader Polls UK Vocal Personality
1965 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1966 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1966 - NME Reader Polls UK Vocal Personality
1967 - NME Reader Polls UK Vocal Personality
1968 - NME Reader Polls UK Vocal Personality
1969 - NME Reader Polls British Vocal Personality
1970 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1970 - NME Reader Polls UK Vocal Personality
1970 - NME Reader Polls World's Best Recording Artist of the '60s
1971 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1971 - NME Reader Polls British Vocal Personality
1972 - NME Reader Polls UK Male Singer
1972 - NME Reader Polls British Vocal Personality
1968 - Ivor Novello Awards for Most Performed Work
1970 - Ivor Novello Awards for Outstanding Services to Music
1959 - Melody Makers Best Male Singer
1960 - Melody Makers Top British Male Singer
1962 - The Emen Award for Top male singer
1962 - Melody Makers Top British Male Singer
1962 - Melody Maker Top single of the year
1963 - Melody Maker Best Male Singer
1964 - Melody Maker Best Male Singer
1965 - Melody Maker Best UK Male Singer
1967- Melody Maker Top Male Singer
1967 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Best-Dressed Male
1968 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Best-Dressed Male
1969 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Best-Dressed Male
1970 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Top British Male Singer
1970 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Best-Dressed Male
1970 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Mr. Valentine
1971 - Disc & Music Echo Award for Mr. Valentine
1964 - Bravo Magazine Award for Best Male Singer Gold
1964 - Bravo Magazine Award for Year End Singles Charts
1965 - Bravo Magazine Award for Year Best Male Singer Gold
1980 - Bravo Magazine Award for Top International Male Singer
1964 - Record Mirror Polls Award for Best-Dressed Singer in the World
1961 - Royal Variety Club Award for Show Business Personality
1961 - Weekend Magazine Award for Star of Stars
1962 - Motion Picture Herald Box’s Most Popular Male Film Actor
1963 - Motion Picture Herald Box’s Most Popular Male Film Actor
1963 - 16 US Magazine Award for Most Promising Singer
1964 - Billboard US Magazine Award for Best Recording Artist UK
1969 - Valentine Magazine Award for Mr. ValentineAward
1970 – National Viewers' and Listeners' Association Award for Outstanding Contribution to Religious Broadcasting and Light Entertainment
1971 - Record Mirror Award for UK Male Singer
1974 - Silver Clef for Outstanding Services to the Music Industry
1977 - Golden Badge Award
1979 - Music Week Special Award for 21 years as successful recording artistes
1979 - EMI Records Gold Clock and Gold Key award
1980 - Richard receives O.B.E. from the Queen
1980 - BBC TV Multi-Coloured Swap Shop Award for Best UK Male Vocalist
1980 - National Pop And Rock Awards for Best Family Entertainer
1980 - Radio 1 and the Daily Mirror Award for Best Family Entertainer
1981 - Sunday Telegraph Readers Poll’s Top Pop Star
1981 - Daily Mirror Readers Award for Outstanding Music Personality of the Year
1989 - The Lifetime Achievement Diamond Award
1992 - Spectacle Wearer of the Year
1995 - Pied Piper Award for outstanding contributions
1998 - Dutch Edison Lifetime Achievement Award
2000 - South Bank Awards for Outstanding Achievement Award
2003 - Gold Badge of Merit from British Academy of Songwriters
Composers and Authors
2003 - 20 Years of Service to Tennis Award from Lawn Tennis Association
2004 - Induction into UK Music Hall of Fame
2004 - Ultimate Pop Star
2005 - Avenue of Stars
2005 - Golden Rose by Rose D'or Music Festival
2006 - Commander of the Portuguese Order of Prince Henry

  • 1

    What is Cliff Richard known for?

    Cliff Richard is known as a British singer, musician, and actor who rose to fame in the late 1950s.
  • 2

    When did Cliff Richard release his first album?

    Cliff Richard released his first album, "Cliff Sings," in 1959.
  • 3

    Has Cliff Richard ever toured outside of the UK?

    Yes, Cliff Richard has toured internationally, including in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
  • 4

    Did Cliff Richard have a number one hit single in the United States?

    Yes, Cliff Richard had a number one hit single in the United States with "Devil Woman" in 1976.
  • 5

    Does Cliff Richard still perform live concerts?

    Yes, Cliff Richard continues to perform live concerts and tours regularly, delighting audiences with his music.
Childhood & Early Life

Cliff was born as Harry Rodger Webb to Rodger Oscar Webb, who worked for a catering service provider for the Indian Railways, and Dorothy Marie Dazely, a dormitory matron at La Martiniere Girls' School, Lucknow.

He attended the St. Thomas' Church School, Howrah for his elementary education, after his family moved to Calcutta in 1945.

After the Independence of India, the family moved to Tilbury, Essex, England, in 1948.

They settled in Carshalton, Surrey, till his father found a job in ‘Thorn Electrical Industries’ in 1949 and took his family to Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. Here, he attended the Kings Road Junior Mixed Infants School.

Later, he went to the Cheshunt Secondary Modern School from where he graduated in 1957. He began working as a temporary clerk for Atlas Lamps and when he was 16 his father gave him a guitar.

In 1957, he formed his own band Quintones vocal group, prior to joining the Dick Teague Skiffle Group.

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Soon he became the lead vocalist for the rock and roll group ‘Drifters’ and adopted the stage name Cliff Richard in 1958 upon his visit to Regal Ballroom in Ripley, Derbyshire.

His single ‘Schoolboy Crush-Move It’ was an instant hit, peaking at No. 2 on the UK charts. Between late 1958 and early 1959, he came up with ‘High Class Baby’ and ‘Livin' Lovin' Doll’.

In 1959, he made his film debut with ‘Serious Charge’. The name of the band was later changed to ‘The Shadows’.

He starred in the 1961 movie ‘The Young Ones’ which was a huge success, the title song of the movie garnered immense popularity and sold more than a million copies.

In 1965, he released his single ‘On My Word’ which was again a massive hit and peaked at the UK charts.

It was followed by another hit number ‘The Day I Met Marie’ in 1967, which also appeared in the UK music charts. The same year, he acted in the film ‘Two a Penny’, playing the role of Jamie Hopkins, who becomes entangled in drug dealing.

The band ‘The Shadows’ fell apart in 1968, but Richard kept giving hit singles.

He also made his last film appearance in the 1973 movie ‘Take Me High’. ‘The Shadows’ regrouped this year as well.

Till now, he was not very well received in the U.S. and his fame was limited to Britain only. However, in 1976, his album ‘I'm Nearly Famous’ became an international hit and reinstated his career which had slowed down due to the arrival of the ‘Beatles’.

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Another of his chartbusters was ‘We Don't Talk Anymore’ in 1979 which sold 5,000,000 copies worldwide.

In 1980, he recorded a duet, ‘Suddenly’, with Olivia Newton-John, which peaked at no. 20 in the UK.

He recorded the duet ‘All I Ask of You’ with Sarah Brightman in 1986 for the famous musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. He remained one of the top singers throughout the 1980s, with most of his songs peaking at no.1.

In 1996, he entertained the crowd at Centre Court on a rainy day during the Wimbledon Championship.

He released his studio album ‘Wanted’ in 2001, and soon came up with another successful album, ‘Cliff at Christmas’.

On 14 June 2004, he performed with ‘The Shadows’ at London Palladium, a famous theatre.

‘Love... The Album’, a compilation of his old and new songs, was released on the 12th of November 2007.

In his 50th year in the music industry in 2008, he released ‘And They Said It Wouldn't Last (My 50 Years in Music)’, an eight-CD box set. The same year, he joined ‘The Shadows’ to perform at the ‘Royal Variety Performance’.

In September 2009, Richard and ‘The Shadows’ released their studio album ‘Reunited’, which was their first album together in forty years.

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He teamed with some of America’s most popular R&B and soul singers to record the album ‘Soulicious’ in 2011, which was released in October of that year.

He was one of the performers in the Diamond Jubilee concert held near Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2012.

In November 2013, he released the studio album ‘The Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll Songbook.’ The album peaked at number 7 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified Gold. He put out his album ‘Just... Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll’ in 2016. It also reached number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and sold over 100,000 units in the United Kingdom.

In the coming years, he released albums like ‘Rise Up,’ ‘Music... The Air That I Breathe,’ and ‘Christmas with Cliff.’ All the albums performed well and reached the top 10 in the UK Albums Chart.

Major Works

His single ‘Living Doll’ was a hugely popular song that topped the UK Singles Chart two times selling 2,000,000 copies worldwide.

‘The Young Ones’, a soundtrack album by the singer peaked at no. 1 in the UK Albums Chart, selling more than a million copies in the UK.

‘Wired for Sound’ released in 1981 was also a significant hit, occupying almost 25 weeks on the UK album charts and selling more than a million copies worldwide.

Awards & Achievements

For his contributions to music, he was made Knight Bachelor on June 17, 1995.

He featured at 56th spot in the 2002 list of ‘100 Greatest Britons’, based on public votes, conducted by BBC.

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In 2006, he was conferred Portuguese knighthood and was appointed ‘Commander of the Order of Prince Henry’.

Personal Life & Legacy

Richard remained a bachelor after one of his past relationships didn’t culminate into marriage. On being asked about this, he said “I've had a few false alarms. I've been in love, but marriage is a big commitment, and being an artist consumes a great deal of time.”

He leads a busy life and his sisters are the only surviving family, after the deaths of his parents.

He is an active member of ‘Tearfund’ a non-profit organization and also supports same-sex marriage.

Facts About Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard holds the record for being the only artist to have a number one single in the UK in five consecutive decades.
He is an avid tennis player and has participated in various celebrity tennis tournaments.
Cliff Richard is a dedicated philanthropist, supporting various charitable causes over the years.
He is known for his love of gardening and has a passion for growing roses.
Cliff Richard is a keen wine enthusiast and has his own vineyard in Portugal where he produces his own wine.

See the events in life of Cliff Richard in Chronological Order

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