Cilla Black passed away at her holiday home in Spain five years ago today, leaving her fans, family and friends devastated

Five years ago today Britain lost a true national treasure when musical icon and presenter Cilla Black passed away.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Liverpool when she was laid to rest and some of her most famous friends stood shoulder to shoulder with her fans.

Famous for her hits in the 1960s Anyone Who Had A Heart and You’re My World, Cilla then went on to forge a successful career as a TV presenter.

She fronted the hugely successful shows Blind Date, The Moment of Truth and Surprise, Surprise.

Cilla, who had been battling rheumatoid arthritis and was in considerable pain, died at her holiday home in Spain on August 1, 2015.

Cilla Black passed away five years ago today
Cilla Black passed away five years ago today (Image: Getty)
She was just 72, leaving her fans, family and fans heartbroken.

Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Star, Cliff Richard, Paul O’Grady, Holly Johnson and Sheridan Smith were just some of the high profile mourners at Cilla’s funeral in Liverpool.

The day after her funeral, which brought her beloved home city to a standstill, Cilla achieved her first number one album with The Very Best of Cilla Black.

Cilla was married to her manager, Bobby Willis, for 30 years until his tragic death from lung cancer in 1999.

Cilla Black with her son Robert in 1972
Cilla Black with her son Robert in 1972 (Image: ITV)
She was heartbroken with theirs one of the strongest and most enduring love stories in showbusiness.

The couple had three sons, Robert, who became her manager after Bobby’s death, Ben and Jack.

Cilla was also thrilled when she discovered she was pregnant with a much-longed for daughter.

Devastatingly, Cilla went into premature labour when she was just 28 weeks pregnant on October 5, 1975.

Cilla with her newborn baby son, Robert
Cilla with her newborn baby son, Robert (Image: Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Her daughter, Ellen, was suffering from serious lung complications and tragcially died just two hours after her birth.

Heartbroken Cilla wrong blamed herself for Ellen’s death, fearing it had been because she had been working too much, which was not the case.

In a searingly honest interview with Piers Morgan in 2009, Cilla admitted she was been in “shreds” following Ellen’s birth.

She told Life Stories: “I was inconsolable, riddled with guilt, enmeshed in depression from which I was convinced there was no return.

Cilla Black with her husband Bobby Willis
Cilla Black with her husband Bobby Willis (Image: Getty)
“I never really held her because it happened in such emergency circumstances.

“You blame yourself — ‘Maybe if I didn’t work, maybe if I rested’ — but I worked through all my other pregnancies, so why should this one be different? Maybe it’s nature’s way.”

Cilla was just 32 at the time of Ellen’s tragic death and confessed she found it incredibly hard to hear other mothers cuddling their babies when she was in hospital after losing her own daughter.

Ellen had been born alive and her birth had to be registered and a funeral held, which Cilla was too upset to attend.

She was so distressed she was unable to leave her bedroom for two weeks but eventually, bravely, returned to her tour.

Cilla said she would “never, ever forget” her heartbreak and added losing a child is something no mother should ever have to go through.

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