Dying seems so unfair, especially sunbathing with good and comfortable years ahead of you, an afternoon one sunny day in your villa in the south of Spain with people that love you close by, money in the bank and so famous that complete strangers love you without having met you. At the age of 72, presuming one is reasonably healthy, one might expect to live deep into your eighties but for Cilla, it wasn’t to be.
Singer, friend of The Beatles and TV personality, one of the most popular people in Britain. It was just last month that I posted Cilla recording ‘Alfie’ with Burt Bacharach and Cilla walking down a staircase singing ‘It’s For You’, a Lennon and McCartney classic (well perhaps a McCartney classic) with John and Paul sitting at the bottom of the staircase at the height of their fame, happily waiting for her to descend – she was their friend. Lennon apparently commented to Cilla at the end of the clip (as reported by an unconfirmed source) “I could see next week’s laundry”.
Whilst she managed to live 32 years longer than John, it still seems tragic that she has died so young. She was unique, nobody in the world had that voice, but the personality, that came straight from the streets of Liverpool. If you’d been there and knew where she was from you would admire her rise from Cavern cloakroom to star even more, not everyone got out of Scotland Road as gloriously as she did.
Some of her female contemporaries are still with us and some of them have also gone. Dusty Springfield died of breast cancer in 1999, much younger than Cilla – she was just 59. Lulu and Sandie Shaw are still with us but Cilla’s death reminds us that immortality is only available on wax and celluloid, the flesh cannot live up to the photographs or the legend.
This is the post from 19th August that features videos of Cilla performing Lennon and or McCartney songs, It’s For You, Love Of The Loved and Step Inside Love as well as the Bacharach/David classic, Alfie.
Below is a statement from her family but it’s unclear if she fell because of a stroke or the subsequent bang on the head caused it?
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF CILLA BLACK (Tuesday, 4th August 2015 – 3.00pm):
It has just been confirmed by the judge and coroner in Spain the autopsy was conclusive – Cilla Black died of natural causes.
Cilla was sunbathing on her private terrace at her villa in Estepona, got up, lost her balance and fell hitting her head, which knocked her unconscious, and she subsequently died of a stroke. She would not have suffered.
The family have now been given permission to return her body home as soon as possible for her funeral. Details of which have not been released at this time.
Robert, Ben & Jack, Cilla’s three sons, said today:
“We are devastated by the sad loss of our mother, but have been deeply touched by all the kind messages of support from her friends, fans, the public and media. We would like to thank everyone, especially the people of Liverpool. The tributes and condolences have really helped us through these difficult times. The Spanish authorities have now told us we are able to bring Mum home, which we hope to do as quickly as possible. We would also like to thank all those involved for their assistance with this matter. We respectfully request for our continued privacy to grieve.