Sir Cliff Richard , OBE (born Harry Rodger Webb ; 14 October 1940) is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor and philanthropist. Richard has sold more than 250 million records worldwide. He has total sales of over 21 million singles in the United Kingdom and is the third-top-selling artist in UK Singles Chart history, behind the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Richard was originally marketed as a rebellious rock and roll singer in the style of Elvis and Little Richard. With his backing group, the Shadows, Richard dominated the British popular music scene in the pre-Beatles period of the late 1950s to early 1960s. His 1958 hit single “Move It” is often described as Britain’s first authentic rock and roll song; in the opinion of John Lennon of the Beatles, “before Cliff and the Shadows, there had been nothing worth listening to in British music”. Increased focus on his Christianity and subsequent softening of his music led to a more middle-of-the-road image and he sometimes ventured into contemporary Christian music.
Over a career spanning 60 years, Richard has amassed many gold and platinum discs and awards, including two Ivor Novello Awards and three Brit Awards. More than 130 of his singles, albums and EPs have reached the UK Top 20, more than any other artist. Richard has had 67 UK top ten singles, the second highest total for an artist behind Elvis. Richard holds the record (with Elvis) 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, and is the only singer to have had a number-one single in the UK in five consecutive decades.
Richard has never achieved the same impact in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling “Devil Woman” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore”. In Canada, he had a successful period in the early 1960s, and again in the late 1970s and early 1980s with some releases certified gold and platinum. He has remained a popular music, film, and television personality in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Europe and Asia, and retains a following in other countries.
Richard has been a resident in the United Kingdom for most of his life, though in 2010, he confirmed that he had become a citizen of Barbados. When not touring, he divides his time between Barbados and Portugal.