Sir Cliff Richard OBE is a British pop singer, musician, performer, actor and philanthropist. He is the third-top-selling singles artist in the United Kingdom's history, with total sales of over 21 million units in the UK and has reportedly sold an estimated 250 million records worldwide.
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." Increased focus on his Christian faith and subsequent softening of his music later led to a more middle of the road pop image, sometimes venturing into contemporary Christian music.
Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Richard has become a fixture of the British entertainment world, amassing many 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 and holds the record as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades. He has achieved 14 UK No. 1 singles and is the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in 5 consecutive decades: the 1950s through to the 1990s. In 2008, he celebrated his 50th anniversary in music by releasing a greatest hits album, featuring the new track "Thank You for a Lifetime", which reached number 3 in the UK singles chart. In November 2013, Richard released his latest album, The Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll Songbook, which became the 100th album of his career.