14 October 2020 16:40

Sir Cliff Richard fans are celebrating the star’s 80th birthday today and now he’s announced a new album.

Sir Cliff Richard: How singer's 'companion' changed star amid 80th birthday celebration

Sir Cliff Richard fans are celebrating the star's 80th birthday today and now he's announced a new album. The singing legend said: "Looking back, I remember thinking that I wouldn't make it to 50 and here I am at 80!" His new record is called Music… The Air That I Breathe and features duets with some of his friends. Cliff Richard: The incredible way he ESCAPED Elvis' terrible fate In a new video, Sir Cliff said: "Hi everyone, it's Cliff Richard here and I've got some exciting news I'd like to share. "To celebrate my 80th birthday, I'll be releasing a brand new album called Music…The Air That I Breathe. "The album includes two new songs, five new recordings of classic tracks and five duets." He also said that he can't wait for fans to hear it and that the record is released on October 30.

READ MORE: Sir Cliff Richard's blunt take on rare relationship exposed Sir Cliff marked his 80th birthday today by sharing an unseen photograph from 1947 in his birthplace of Lucknow, India. The throwback snap showed the dark-haired future star with his sisters Jacqui and Donna, one year before they moved to Surrey. Sir Cliff went on to relish overwhelming success during more than six decades in the music industry and remains one of the world's best-selling singers. When asked if he would retire the Summer Holiday hitmaker claimed: "I don't think that's in my vocabulary." Sir Cliff, who rose to fame during the late Fifties, has also had to address rumours about his love life and sexual orientation over the years. The crooner, who lived as a bachelor for many years, has a close friendship with self-professed "companion" John McElynn.

He gave an intimate insight into their relationship during a candid interview, where he revealed the way his confidant had helped him. Sir Cliff admitted that he savoured his close connection with Mr McElynn because he never "particularly liked living alone" and their mutual interests. They were introduced by friend Pamela Devis and after a phone call arranged to meet in New York at his future companion's family home in 2001. The singer admitted that he planned an "escape route" in case they didn't get along but after they met he realised: "I needn't have bothered." During that first meet, they played tennis and after a meal with his family, Sir Cliff realised they would become "very firm friends". In his 2009 autobiography My Life, My Way, the singer explained that he was especially taken by Mr McElynn because his family didn't know who he was – because the star never "broke" the US market.

Sir Cliff confessed: "It has been so rare for me to find friends I know like me for myself, I am not always the best judge of character." The pair's "close friendship" was strengthened by their passion for sport and Christian beliefs – Mr McElynn was a Roman Catholic priest before he left the clergy. Sir Cliff explained that shortly after they met "he hadn't any thought at the beginning about giving up the priesthood" but was on a sabbatical. We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. Sign up fornow and never miss the top Royal stories again.

It seems hard to imagine that clean-cut, Mistletoe and Wine-singing Sir Cliff was ever a controversial figure on the global music scene. New album, Music – The Air That I Breathe, is sure to thrill his legions of fans, yet his early appearances sparked outrage in the UK while US broadcasters threatened to censor his performances. The Indian-born star, real name Harry Webb, was thrust into the limelight when he was a teenager and soon grabbing headlines, hit records and screaming fans. Not everyone was so impressed, however. In the late 1950s, Rock n Roll was exploding around the world, spearheaded by Elvis.

When he was just 17, Cliff Richard and his band The Drifters were booked to play at Butlin's holiday camp in Clacton-on-Sea, in August 1958. Unfortunately, the owner Billy Butlin himself was not impressed by what he saw and didn't want them back. Butlin told the manager, "He's a good-looking boy but I don't like the way he sings." The potentially devastating knockback was completely forgotten with weeks, however, when the band was snapped up for live televsion. READ MORE: Elvis Presley's jealous RAGE when he discovered Priscilla's lover Sir Cliff Richard has shared a childhood photograph to mark his 80th birthday. The veteran entertainer marks the milestone on Wednesday and previously announced he would be celebrating with a new album. He surprised fans with a picture from his childhood in India. The black-and-white snap, taken in 1947, shows a young Sir Cliff smiling into the camera while seated next to sisters Jacqui and Donna. Sir Cliff Richard marked his 80th birthday by sharing two new pictures (Guy Levy/Sir Cliff Richard/PA) And a separate newly released picture features the singer in a more modern setting. Sir Cliff was photographed at London's Haymarket theatre last month, looking typically youthful. The singer's new album is titled Music… The Air That I Breathe and Sir Cliff has recorded duets with Bonnie Tyler, The Bellamy Brothers, Sheila Walsh, The Piano Guys and Albert Hammond, alongside covers including The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun. He was due to kick off The Great 80 Tour last month, visiting cities including Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Bournemouth and London, but it was pushed back because of Covid-19. Sir Cliff is also releasing a new book, The Dreamer: An Autobiography, at the end of the month. Music… The Air That I Breathe is released on October 30. Sir Cliff Richard has been confirmed as the latest guest on Piers Morgan's Life Stories on ITV The channel confirmed today that Piers Morgan will be talking with Sir Cliff Richard, who celebrates his 80th birthday today, about his extraordinary life and six-decade career as the crown prince of British pop. Advertisements He recalls his journey from a poverty-stricken childhood to become Britain's first true rock-and-roll star - and at one stage the biggest selling singles artist in the world. He also reflects on how the tragically early death of his father led him to the public conversion to Christianity which could have jeopardised his career and discusses the ups and downs of 60 years in the public eye. Piers Morgan said: "Sir Cliff is one of Britain's greatest ever pop stars and I'm absolutely thrilled he has finally agreed to do Life Stories. What a career, what a life!" This episode will air later this month on Sunday, October 25 at 9PM on ITV. Katie Rawcliffe, ITV's Head of Entertainment said: "Piers Morgan's Life Stories is a firm favourite with ITV viewers and gives a unique insight into the lives of some of the most recognisable faces in the world. "Sir Cliff Richard joining Piers to talk about his life and celebrate his illustrious career promises to be a real treat for our audience."