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Kathy Kirby

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Kathy Kirby (born Kathleen O’Rourke, 20 October 1940, in Ilford, Essex - died 19 May 2011) was a popular English singer of the 1960s.

Kirby’s soprano voice became apparent early in life and she was thought to be good enough for opera. She became a professional singer after meeting the bandleader, Ambrose at the Ilford Palais. She remained with Ambrose’s band for three years and he remained her manager and mentor until his death in 1971.

She adopted the look of a ‘blonde bombshell’, and was compared to Marilyn Monroe. Her looks, lip-gloss and her powerful, pitch-perfect voice became her trademarks. She had a string of Top 20 hits between 1963 and 1965, the best known of which is probably her cover version of “Secret Love”.

Kathy Kirby became one of the biggest stars of the mid-sixties, appearing in the Royal Command Variety Performance and three television series for BBC TV. She represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, and came second with the song “I Belong”. She also sang the theme tune of the BBC television series Adam Adamant Lives!.

Kathy Kirby’s star faded in the late sixties. She recorded twelve singles and an album between 1967 and 1973, but did they did not achieve her previous success. She continued to make television appearances, and her 1974 appearance on The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club TV variety show is available to watch on YouTube.

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  • AlexRange

    R.I.P. Amazing Kathy Kirby. Most saddest celebrity death for me. Old female UK pop was wonderful.

    23 Apr 2012 Reply
  • davidgeorgea

    This was my teen age Goddess.. I just loved to watch her breath ..Ah ! those memories ..(*_*)..

    23 Dec 2011 Reply
  • rainy-dog

    so i start listening to her randomly last week, suddenly she's dead. This happened to me before with odetta, alice coltrane and eartha kitt, among others. i'm starting to think i'm cursing these poor women.

    29 May 2011 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    I heard "Secret Love" played on radio this morning . . . great track, and boy she could really belt it out . . . RIP Kathy

    27 May 2011 Reply
  • lihei

    Vale

    26 May 2011 Reply
  • foxforce5

    RIP.

    22 May 2011 Reply
  • sonnyminimal

    'Let Me Go Lover' is like a hurricane sweeping through the room. It's still the best kathy Kirby single.

    8 May 2009 Reply
  • yakkowarner

    Bold as a knight in white armour, Cold as a shot from a gun. If you should look, For a man who loves danger, To whom love is a stranger, This man is the one.

    19 Jul 2007 Reply