Belfast Telegraph

I’m not sad when I hear her music any more, says Cilla Black’s son

The singer and entertainer would have turned 75 this year.

Cilla Black’s son Robert Willis has said he does not feel sad when hearing her music any more, three years after her death.

The singer, entertainer and TV star, whose career in the limelight spanned six decades, died in August 2015 at the age of 72 after a fall at her villa in Spain.

Since her death, Mr Willis has thrown himself into a number of projects, including executive producing Cilla – The Musical and overseeing the release of a new album in her memory.

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Robert Willis with singer Rebecca Ferguson (Yui Mok/PA)

Asked about how his career has changed since her death, he told BBC Breakfast: “It has (changed). My two brothers work in TV and they’ve gone back to their jobs. For me, my life has changed, but you just kind of move on, you take that person who you love with you.

“There’s no right or wrong way to deal with bereavement, you do what’s right for you.”

Referring to the new album, he added: “I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to do these projects and celebrate what she was about.

“We’re in a good place, so when I see a clip or listen to some music, it makes me smile, it makes me happy. It doesn’t make me sad any more.

“I’ve been really fortunate that we’ve been able to do such great and exciting projects, it’s been brilliant.”

The new album features Sir Cliff Richard, Sheridan Smith and Rebecca Ferguson performing duets on remastered tracks from the Liverpool-born singer’s back catalogue, backed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

We grew up with Cilla, and for me she's a big Liverpool icon. She and the Beatles put Liverpool on the map as a musical city Rebecca Ferguson

Mr Willis said he was “thrilled” that Sir Cliff, a long-time friend of Black, had agreed to take part.

He added: “I didn’t want to ask him myself, I didn’t want to put that pressure on – if he didn’t want to do it, that would have been cool. But it was so brilliant that he did.”

Appearing alongside him on the programme, former X Factor star Ferguson said she was “really grateful” to have been part of the record.

She said: “We grew up with Cilla, and for me she’s a big Liverpool icon. She and the Beatles put Liverpool on the map as a musical city.

“So when I got asked to do it, I was like, how can you say no? She’s our Cilla.”

Cilla With The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is available on November 16.

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