Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Cliff Richard - Nine Times Out of Ten
With his backing group The Shadows, Richard, originally positioned as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard and Elvis Presley, dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
His 1958 hit single "Move It" is often described as Britain's first authentic rock and roll song, and John Lennon once claimed that "before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music." A conversion to Christianity and subsequent softening of his music later led to a more middle of the road pop image, sometimes venturing into gospel.
Over a 52-year career, Richard has become a fixture of the British entertainment world. He has amassed hundreds of gold and platinum discs and awards, including three Brit awards and two Ivor Novello awards. He has had more than 130 singles, albums and EPs make the UK Top 20, more than any other artist. He holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s).
He has achieved 14 UK number one singles (or 18, depending on the counting methodology) and is the only singer to have had a number one single in the UK in six consecutive decades: the 1950s through to the 2000s (discounting digital downloads and counting only CDs, he also had a UK number one single in the 2000s). He is the biggest selling singles artist of all time in the UK, with total sales of over 27 million and UK album sales of over 18 million. He has sold more than 150 million singles worldwide.
Richard holds many records for the number of concerts held at various venues around the world. In the UK he holds the record for most performances at the Royal Albert Hall, with over 80 performances at the venue with audiences reaching 450,000. He also holds the record for most shows at Wembley Arena, were he has performed at least 66 concerts to audiences of nearly 800,000.