Cilla Black (born May 27, 1943) is a British singer and entertainer, the second-biggest star to emerge from the Liverpool scene after the Beatles. She was born Priscilla White but changed her name when she began to make records in 1963.
Cilla Black was at one time a part-time cloakroom attendant at the Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles used to play. After the Beatles' breakthrough international success, manager Brian Epstein signed a series of similar musicians from Liverpool. With much aid from Epstein, she soon signed to Parlophone records and achieved the help of record producer George Martin. Her first single was "Love of the Loved", which peaked at #35, making it a failure compared to most of Epstein's other artists. Her second single was the Burt Bacharach-Hal David composition "Anyone Who Had a Heart", which had been a success for Dionne Warwick but was even bigger when Cilla Black's version (from 1964) became the biggest selling single by a female artist in the history of British popular music. Her next single was "You're My World", which has become perhaps the best-remembered song of her career.
Frequently using songs composed by Paul McCartney, a close friend, Black's mass success continued for several years. She also branched into acting with 1964's Ferry Cross the Mersey. Epstein had remained her manager even after dropping most of his other acts, but she decided to leave him in 1966 for Robert Stigwood; before she could, however, Epstein died of a drug overdose. After Epstein's death and a disastrous appearance in the flop film Work Is a Four-Letter Word, Black's career began declining. Her last hit was "Surround Yourself with Sorrow" in 1969.
Black continued recording and appearing on television into the mid-1970s, though her TV appearances soon began eclipsing her musical fame. She hosted the popular television programme Blind Date (1985 - 2003), Surprise, Surprise and Moment of Truth (1998 - 2001). She remains an extremely popular personality in England. In 1993 she was awarded an OBE. In 2003 she released a music career retrospective New Beginnings.
She was married to her manager Bobby Willis for over 30 years until his death in the late 1990s, they had 3 sons, one of them Robert succeeded his father as her Manager.
She is worth an estimated £15 million (2003) and has luxury homes in Buckinghamshire, West London, Marbella and Barbados.