Kathy Kirby (actually Kathleen O'Rourke, born October 20, 1938 in Ilford, Essex, † 19 May 2011) was a British singer. She became famous in the 1960s in their home country with different titles as well as the participation in the Euro Vision Song Contest.
- 2.1 Singles
- 2.2 albums
When her soprano voice was evident in his early years, Kathy Kirby made the decision to become an opera singer. After they had met the British bandleader Bert Ambrose in Ilford Palais, the foundation was laid for her career. She joined his band and should remain there for three years. Even later still was Ambrose Kirby's manager and mentor until he died in 1971.
Over the years, her look was one of their trademarks; because of her dyed blonde hair and bright red lipstick, she was often compared to Marilyn Monroe, which earned her the nickname Blonde Bombshell. 1963 and 1964 they had four hits in the British charts, which reached the top 20. The most successful was their cover version of Doris Day Secret Love title.
Participation in the Euro Vision Song Contest
1965 Kathy Kirby was selected by the BBC to represent the UK at the Euro Vision Song Contest. As is common in the 60s and 70s, presented the candidate selected six titles in a TV show called Song for Europe before; then the audience was asked to vote by postcard about the winner. All six tracks were also recorded by Kathy Kirby and published together on an EP under the title song for Europe. I belong (composed by Peter Lee Sterling, texted by Phil Peters) was the clear winner of the preliminary round.
All titles with result
At the contest in Naples Kathy Kirby reached a second place behind the Representative for Luxembourg France Gall with 26 points. Remarkably, this was the best result that could ever reach a participant from the start number two from. She also competed in the memory of the host country, Italy on an Italian version of their contribution.
I belong was Kirby's last single, which reached the UK sales charts. Between 1967 and 1973 she took on twelve more singles and another album, but could not build on his earlier successes. In the 70s she had various television appearances.
In the 70s, financial and health problems were known, but this did not prevent from appearances on television. In the early 80s, she stated her retirement from show business known and lived until her death in London.
2005 Kathy Kirby came again publicly this week, as her biography Secrets, Loves and Lip Gloss was published along with their official website, which has the motto My thanks to you.
Furthermore, several EPs, CDs and compilations appeared.