She is best known for her cover version of Doris Day 's " Secret Love " and for representing the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest where she finished in second place. Her physical appearance often drew comparisons with Marilyn Monroe. Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me - Mahalia Jackson - Youll Never Walk Alone - Greatest Gospel Hits popularity peaked in the s, when she was one of the best-known and most-recognised personalities in British show business.
Kirby was born in IlfordLondon,  the eldest of three children of Irish parents. Her mother Eileen brought them up alone after their father left early in their childhood. Kirby's vocal talent became apparent early in life, and she took singing lessons with a view to becoming an opera singer. She remained with Ambrose's band for three years and he remained her manager, mentor and lover until his death on stage in Leeds in My Rival - Steely Dan - Gaucho During the summer of Kirby performed at the Donna Ruff - Secret Love Park Restaurant in Madrid, and after returning to the UK not only performed with Ambrose's orchestra, but also with Nat Allen and his band.
The single sold well over a long period of time, but failed to reach the top of the British charts. Kirby disliked the song, stating that: "Honestly, I was really surprised because I never had much hope for this record, and when I recorded it I thought it might never get anywhere at all. Author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor describes Kirby's "I Belong" as being far more representative of current musical tastes than other songs from the contest,  but she was beaten by France Gall from Luxembourgsinging an even more contemporary song written by Serge Gainsbourg.
An EP was issued featuring the six songs selected for the Eurovision Contest, featuring a different version of "I Belong", which peaked at No. The song also charted in some of the regional charts, such as No. After the chart success of "I Belong", Kirby recorded more than a dozen singles between andbut they all failed to chart. During the Donna Ruff - Secret Love , Kirby's singing career was eclipsed by a turbulent personal life, but she made occasional television appearances and performed a few live concerts on the "nostalgia circuit".
In December she gave one last concert in Blackpool, then retired from show business altogether. She did not perform in public after Donna Ruff - Secret Love retirement, but an amateur recording of Kirby singing the song " He ", made in aboutis available online.
Interest in Kirby and her work continued long after she stopped performing,  particularly among gay men, for whom she was something of an icon. The Daily Express reported in that plans for a newly filmed interview had been abandoned, but later reports confirmed that the interview had been filmed, and it was subsequently included on a DVD compilation released the following year.
She also gave an interview to the Express inwhich included recent photographs and was Donna Ruff - Secret Love as her first in 26 years. Following the interview, the Sunday Express reported that some previously unreleased recordings would be made available on Donna Ruff - Secret Love inand that Kirby had been approached to Convinced - Ese Grouch - Dont Judge Me The Album on Desert Island Discs although neither the programme nor the CD has been released.
Kirby met bandleader Bert Ambrose in her teens and, despite his being 42 years older and having an estranged wife at the time,  began a relationship with him that lasted until his death in Kirby was married briefly to writer and former London policeman Frederick Pye in the s.
McKay was imprisoned for fraud and forgery. Kirby was diagnosed with schizophrenia  and was in poor physical and mental health for much Donna Ruff - Secret Love her life. After her retirement she lived in a series Filarmónica Gil - Filarmónica Gil apartments and hotels in west London, settling in an apartment in Emperor's Gate, South Kensington, surviving on state benefits and some royalties, and maintaining what has been called a " Garbo-esque " seclusion.
Kirby died on 19 Maya few days after moving to Brinsworth House. According to a message posted by a relative on a fan website, she suffered a heart attack. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Kathy Kirby. Kirby at the Eurovision Song Contest Daily Mirror. Retrieved 21 May Retrieved 14 April Yorkshire Post. Kathy Kirby The Complete Collection. Retrieved 8 May Carlton Books, UK. Retrieved 23 October Retrieved 31 December The Independent. Retrieved 26 January Archived from the original on 21 August Matt Monro.
Special guest star: Stratford Johns. Orchestra under the direction of Harry Rabinowitz . Repeated August 4, Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson .
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Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Everytime - IMx - Introducing IMx . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson .
Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson .
Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Orchestra under the direction of Eric Robinson . Stewart Morris. Kenneth Williams introduces tonight's star: Kathy Kirby. Orchestra directed by Harry Rabinowitz . UK . United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest Participation Songs s " All " " Sing, Little Birdie ".
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