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Cilla Black was the first to sing Big Spender a year before Dame Shirley Bassey

Feb 21, 2020

Cillia Black was reportedly the first to sing iconic hit Big Spender – a whole year before Dame Shirley Bassey decided to take the song.

The shocking revelation came to light in the new ITV documentary, Cilla: The Lost Tapes, which uncovered the TV and music legend's unseen film and audio footage from her life.

She was one of the country’s most-loved entertainers so the nation was shocked when the TV personality sadly passed away on on August 1, 2015.

Providing an intimate glimpse into the late singer's life, the new documentary revealed Cilla performed Big Spender first – after bringing it to Britain from America in the 1960s.

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In an old recording played in the documentary, Cilla can be seen saying: "I was doing a song called Big Spender.

"It was a performance song, it was a fun song, a song also that I brought home from America for me to do – I never thought of recording it."

The national treasure went on to spill the beans on how glittering superstar Shirley, now 83, went on to get her hands on the iconic record.

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She revealed in the documentary: "Then Shirley Bassey’s secretary was in the audience and then she went back and told [Dame Shirley], 'Cilla’s doing this, it’s a great song for you'."

Shirley went on to create her own version of the song after her secretary shared the exciting hit and went on to make the song globally famous.

According to Mail Online, Shirley's version of Big Spender reached No21 in the UK singles chart in December 1967, a year after Cilla performed it for the first time.

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The story behind the flame-haired icon's personal life was revealed in the new ITV documentary Cilla: The Lost Tapes – which also included an unexpected proposal.

The singer, whose full name was Priscilla Maria Veronica White, sadly died in 2015 aged 72 after a fall.

Narrated by Sheridan Smith, the documentary saw Cilla's close friends from her lifetime discuss the woman they knew and loved.

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When Cilla’s family sold her home in 2017 following her death, they found a collection of audio recordings and home movies.

They provided an intimate and fascinating glimpse into the late singer’s life away from public.

The documentary, Cilla: The Lost Tapes, which aired on ITV, took a look at her rise from working-class girl in Liverpool to singing star and TV personality.

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Her three sons Robert, Ben and Jack said they were all “devastated by the sad loss of [their] mother".

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

Cilla: The Lost Tapes airs tonight at 9pm on ITV

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