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Sir Cliff Richard was born Harry Webb on October 14, 1940 and celebrates his 75th birthday today.
He was born at the King George Hospital, Lucknow, India. A year later his family moved to Calcutta, and in 1947, following Indian independence, they moved to Britain, from comparative wealth in India to a much more modest lifestyle in England.
Known as the Peter Pan of Pop, he's one of Britain's most radical, enduring and successful rock stars.
In the early days, Richard was marketed as the British equivalent to Elvis Presley and he adopted a Presley-like dress and hairstyle.
He has achieved phenomenal sales and almost uniquely produced songs which have topped the UK singles charts in every decade from the 1950s onwards. Altogether he sold more than 250 million records, dominating the British pop scene for half-a-century or more.
In 1958 Richard obtained a recording contract with EMI's Columbia label for himself only, and in 2004 signed with Decca. He recorded his first single on 24 July 1958.
He soon became the lead singer of the rock and roll group the Drifters, adopting the name Cliff Richard and the Drifters.
The Shadows ultimately replaced the Drifters as his backing group, but they were then awarded an EMI contract of their own without Richard. After the Shadows split in 1968, Richard recorded without the band.
Cliff and The Shadows appeared in a number of films, most notably in The Young Ones, (the title song being his biggest hit up to Mistletoe and Wine); Summer Holiday (which featured a slimmed-down Richard with visible dancing skills), Wonderful Life and Finders Keepers.
He's best known for hits Living Doll, Congratulations, Summer Holiday, Power to all our Friends, I Love You, Mistletoe and Wine, The Young Ones and Devil Woman.
His cheerful and courteous manner, amiable presentation and his generally attractive demeanour have made him a welcome contrast to the wild behaviour of many of the other pop stars in the music world.
He became a Christian in 1964 and toned down his act somewhat having been called a "crude exhibitionist". He had misgivings about continuing his career, but his new-found Christian friends said there was no reason why he should stop.
In 1968 he sang the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest Congratulations. It lost by just one point, even so, the song was a huge hit throughout Europe. In 1973 he sang the British entry Power to All Our Friends. It finished third.
In 1976 Richard was repackaged as a "rock" artist. That year he produced the landmark album I'm Nearly Famous, which included the successful but controversial guitar-driven track Devil Woman, his first true hit in the United States.
Further top 10 albums included Stronger in 1989, From A Distance in 1990 and yet another number one with The Album in 1993. The next few years saw Richard concentrate on bringing the musical Heathcliff to the stage.
He was knighted in 1995, the first rock star to be so honoured.
A regular fixture at Wimbledon, he's been known to lead the crowd in sing-a-longs during unwelcome rain breaks.
Adored by the Establishment he's one of the very few celebrities who were invited to the 10th anniversary memorial service in August 2007, of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
In 1999, controversy arose regarding radio stations refusing to play his records.
Close friends since the 1960s, Cliff Richard sang at the funeral of Cilla Black in August, 2015.
Sir Cliff Richard finished number 56 in the 2002 100 Greatest Britons list, sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public. A Channel 4 programme broadcast in 2004 revealed that he had sold more singles in the UK than any other music artist - a real living doll!