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UK News

Sir Cliff Richard at 80: 'He puts it all down to knowing God' says friend on birthday

by Premier Journalist

Sir Cliff Richard's 80th birthday has prompted those who have known him to reflect on his life as a popstar and as a Christian. 

He was the first popstar to be knighted and is the third best-selling artist in the UK singles chart after Elvis Presley and The Beatles. 

But since his conversion in 1964, he has accompanied his fame with a Christian outlook on life, money and culture. He has supported Tearfund, attended Christian campaign events such as the National Festival of Light, made Christian music and, more recently, been vocal about his gratitude for people praying for him around the time of his court case against the BBC, which he won. 

Premier presenter Cindy Kent - formerly from the band The Settlers - got to know Sir Cliff through church and then going on tour with him and doing a lot of TV together. 

She remains good friends with him and told Premier he is in a much better place since the legal battle ended two years ago: "He puts it all down to knowing God and knowing God is in his life and he credits that to everything that's happened to him. With Cliff, what you see is what you get, he's a very upfront, straight-forward kind of guy. He's a lovely friend, he's a lovely artist and he's a lovely Christian."

As a popular musician in the 60s and 70s, Cindy said she had received countless letters and emails from people who had become Christians after being fans of Cliff Richard: "They say 'If it hadn't been for Cliff I would never have even have looked at Christianity because we thought it was full of old men and women and had nothing to do with us, I couldn't identify with them in anyway' and then someone like Cliff stands up at a Billy Graham rally and says 'I'm a Christian' and you go 'wow!', this is amazing, it's for people like you as well!"

Sir Cliff took on the BBC after the organisation filmed a police raid on his house while he was out of the country, following accusations which he was never charged with of historical sexual offences. No further action was taken as there was insufficient evidence. 

Cindy Kent was there with him in court one day and recalled: "It was harrowing to hear the things being said about him, and he just had to sit there and listen to them. And I'm so glad he was vindicated in the end, it all came right and God was with him. He said every day he walked into that room that God was there, God had gone before him, he was with him and he followed him after him."

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