Sir Cliff Richard, OBE was born Harry Rodger Webb on 14 October 1940, in Lucknow, India. He is a British Anglo-Indian singer-songwriter and entrepreneur.
With his backing group The Shadows, who originally chose the name The Drifters but changed it soon after to The Shadows, Sir Cliff dominated the British popular music scene in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, getting his start with frequent appearances on Jack Good’s TV show, “Oh Boy!” in 1958. His first hit record was called, “Move It” which he still performs in every concert to this day. And his movies, which co-starred The Shadows, are still shown on TV and sold on DVD, including among them, “Summer Holiday”, “The Young Ones,” “Wonderful Life,” and “Finders Keepers.”
A conversion to Christianity in the mid-1960’s, his eventual solo career which began in 1969, and an overall change in the music scene led to a subsequent softening of his music, giving him more of a pop than rock image at that point. He never achieved the same impact in the United States as the UK, despite several chart singles there, but he has remained a popular music, film, and television personality in the United Kingdom and he retains a following worldwide.
In 1980, Cliff Richard was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by HRM The Queen for Services to Music and Charity. Later, on October 25, 1995, Cliff Richard, OBE was invested as a Knight Bachelor, thus making his name Sir Cliff Richard, OBE. Sir Cliff contributes his money, time, and makes personal appearances on behalf of many charities, including the TEAR Fund, and he founded his own charity, The Sir Cliff Richard Charitable Trust.
Sir Cliff and The Shadows have reunited for tours several times over the years, most recently in 2008-2009 to mark their 50th anniversary.
Sir Cliff has the longest span of number one singles by a UK artist, from 1959 with “Living Doll” to 1999 with “Millennium Prayer.” He has the unique distinction of being the only artist to reach number one with two different versions of the same song – “Living Doll” – the second one being for the charity, “Comic Relief.” Sir Cliff has had 104 official album and EP releases as of 2019. He has sold more than 250 million records, including some in languages other than English, among them German, French, Spanish, and Italian.
Known primarily as a singer, Sir Cliff has written or co-written 100 of his own songs, more than any other songwriter who has contributed to his catalogue. Hank Marvin is second with 48 songs, and Bruce Welch is third with 77.
In October, 2018 and throughout 2019, Sir Cliff is celebrating his Diamond Anniversary of 60 years in the recording arts.