Huge crowds gathered today for the unveiling of a new statue of Cilla Black outside the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the legendary venue, the life-size bronze statue of the music and TV legend has been revealed outside of Mathew Street. The Cavern Club first opened its doors on 16 January 1957 as a jazz cellar, and went on to help launch the career of the likes of The Beatles and Cilla Black – as well as being a focal point for the Merseybeat scene.
The statue was commissioned by Black’s sons Robert, Ben and Jack Willis. Robert said they wanted to “donate it as a small gesture of gratitude to this great city for their wonderful outpouring of love and affection for our mother”, adding that his mother would have been “very flattered, proud and honoured”.
Sculptor Andy Edwards spoke of how important it was that Black be remembered in the city, adding that Black’s tale and the history of The Cavern Club “is the story of the birth of that period in Liverpool’s musical culture.”
Cilla Black at the Cavern Club in 1963
The Liverpool-born singer made her name in the 1960s after being championed by The Beatles. She had eleven top ten hits including 1964 Number One singles ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ and ‘You’re My World’. Her music career began while working at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club. While employed there she performed alongside acts including Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Beatles. Ring Starr of the latter band introduced her to Brian Epstein, who soon became her manager.
The design of Black’s dress on the statue features images of her legendary career.
Black died in August 2015 after suffering a stroke. Last year it was announced that Lady Gaga would be playing her in a new movie about the life of Dionne Warwick.