Legendary British singer and television presenter Cilla Black passed away at age 72 while in Spain, the BBC learned. Black was reportedly staying in her home in Costa del Sol in the town of Estepona when the Spanish police learned that a woman named Priscilla White had died. According to the Official Cilla Black Facebook page, Cilla was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White.
Meanwhile, her agent, Nick Fiveash, also confirmed Cilla Black’s passing to BBC. He said, “It is with deep sorrow that I confirm… the passing of singer and TV personality Cilla Black.”
As of the moment, police said that the singer’s death appeared to be due to natural causes, although this has not been confirmed by tests. To this, Fiveash announced, “Details of her death will be announced following the coroner’s report. Her family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Born in Liverpool in 1943, Cilla said she grew up in a family that loved music passionately. She said, “My father played the mouth organ, my mother and aunts used to sing, and it wasn’t unusual for families to get together and make their own music in the fifties.”
She got the name Cilla Black when a music paper called Mersey Beat misprinted her name. However, she loved the name and ended up keeping it. Soon, she caught the attention of The Beatles manager Brian Epstein. He signed her in September 1963, making her his only female vocalist.
Cilla became known for a number of hit songs including “Love of the Loved,” which was given to her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Meanwhile, her other famous songs include “Anyone Who Had A Heart,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” and “You’re My World.”
After conquering the music scene, Cilla also worked on an number of successful television shows including “Surprise!, Surprise!” and “Blind Date.” And in 1997, Cilla was given the honor of the Order of British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her achievements in the entertainment industry.
Upon news of her passing, British Prime Minister David Cameron paid his tribute to the late singer on Twitter. Cameron referred to Cilla as a “huge talent who made a significant contribution to public life in Britain.”
PM: Cilla Black was a huge talent who made a significant contribution to public life in Britain. My thoughts are with her family.
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) August 2, 2015
At the same time, Paul McCartney has said he was shocked to hear of Cilla’s passing and recalled the first time they had ever met. He tweeted:
Paul on Cilla Black pic.twitter.com/XP1dyAPmWn
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 2, 2015
Meanwhile, Daily Mail reports that of Cilla’s sons, Ben Willis, was spotted arriving in the late singer’s home.