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Cilla Black died of stroke after falling and hitting head at Spanish villa

Published 04/08/2015

Cilla Black's sudden death at her home in the south of Spain has left friends, family and the British public in shock
Cilla Black's sudden death at her home in the south of Spain has left friends, family and the British public in shock

Cilla Black died of a stroke after falling and hitting her head at her Spanish villa.

The singing and TV star was sunbathing at her villa on the Costa del Sol, when she lost her balance, fell, hit her head which knocked her unconscious.

A post-mortem revealed that she subsequently died of a stroke, a statement from her publicist said. She would not have suffered, it added.

In a joint statement her three sons Robert, Ben and Jack said: "We are devastated by the sad loss of our mother, but have been deeply touched by all the kind messages of support from her friends, fans, the public and media.

"We would like to thank everyone, especially the people of Liverpool. The tributes and condolences have really helped us through these difficult times.

"The Spanish authorities have now told us we are able to bring mum home, which we hope to do as quickly as possible.

"We would also like to thank all those involved for their assistance with this matter. We respectfully request for our continued privacy to grieve."

The family have been given permission to take her body home.

No funeral details have yet been released.

Tributes have continued to pour in for the Surprise Surprise star, 72, led by close friends like Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Paul McCartney and Christopher Biggins.

Sir Cliff revealed he was due to visit her in Spain next week.

"Her passing away is a particular shock because despite the aches and pains we all suffer, she was always so upbeat," he wrote in The Sun.

Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both remembered her fondly.

McCartney said she had a "fun-loving dignity" and was a "great pleasure to be around". Starr said she was a "good friend" who would be missed.

Her famous single, Anyone Who Had A Heart, and her album, The Very Best Of Cilla Black, are both featuring in the mid-week Official Chart ratings.

ITV confirmed they will be airing an adapted version of The One and Only Cilla Black this evening.

Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White in Liverpool, she became one of the nation's favourite entertainers after transforming herself from a successful singer in the 1960s to the front woman on shows such as Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.

She scored two number ones in 1964 - Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My World - as well as enjoying many other hits, before going on to concentrate on TV.

She went on to host more than 500 editions of her programmes and was the first woman to have her own prime-time chat show on BBC1.

The Official Charts company revealed Anyone Who Had a Heart jumped 32 places overnight, to put it at spot number 59.

Her album has climbed forty-three places to position number 25 on the charts.

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