In giving its Popular Music Lifetime Achievement Award to Sir Cliff Richard, the Musicians’ Company honours not only one of the country’s most gifted musicians but someone who has been a major force for the music industry in the UK for over 60 years.
The statistics of Sir Cliff’s achievements are staggering. Sir Cliff is the only artist to achieve top 5 albums in eight consecutive decades. He has amassed numerous awards, including two Ivor Novello Awards and three Brit Awards, two for Best Male and a Lifetime Achievement Award and nominated for Best Male category a further three times. More than 177 of Sir Cliff’s singles, albums, and EPs have reached the UK Top 20 and he has been awarded 33 silver, 8 gold and 1 platinum single discs, 10 silver, 21 gold and 15 platinum album discs and 1 gold and 14 platinum video awards more than any other artist. Sir Cliff has had 68 UK top ten singles. He has achieved 14 UK No.1 singles, and is the only singer to have had a No.1 single in the UK in each of five consecutive decades. He is the UK's third biggest selling artist in UK Chart history with 21.5 million singles (after Elvis and the Beatles). Sir Cliff also has had four UK Christmas No.1 singles and was a major contributor to a fifth Christmas No.1 single Do they know It’s Christmas? in 1989 and has just issued Christmas with Cliff , his first Christmas album for 19 years.
Sir Cliff has given so much back through his philanthropy and to the music industry through his support for copyright reform.
The Musician!s Company gives awards to support young and promising talent at the BRIT School, BIMM and the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), as well as an award for Music Direction in Music Theatre.
Each year the Musicians!"Company, one of the oldest and most respected charitable companies in the City of London, donates over £250,000 in scholarships and awards in support of young musicians at the start of their careers across all musical disciplines.
The Musicians!"Company has a long tradition of recognising creative talent and the contribution that distinguished artists have made to the music profession from Elgar and Vaughan Williams to John Dankworth and Ronnie Scott. The Company added a Lifetime Achievement award in Popular Music in 2016, when the award was presented to Annie Lennox, and then to Brian May in 2018.
Sir Cliff Richard said: “I am absolutely delighted to be honoured with this award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians in my 64th year in the music industry. Who’d have thought when I set out on this fantastic journey at age 17 in 1958 that I’d still be recording and performing into my 80s? It was a dream, and I am proof that dreams really do come true. To win a Pop lifetime achievement award was certainly nothing I could ever have imagined happening to me, so I thank the Musicians’ Company for their recognition and support for me. Their work providing financial help to young musicians to forge careers is wonderful, long may their work continue”.