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Cliff Richard accuses radio of snubbing his music in favour of young singers, wants 'priority' as fans are dying

'Without radio, there is nothing we can do other than go on tour, which is not only tiring, it gets less efficient as time goes by, the audiences get smaller'
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Sir Cliff Richard has said that proven hitmakers like him should be given a bit of 'priority chance' on the radio as he complained that the medium was not just for the young ones. The veteran singer is still churning out new tunes.

Richard, 79, who is the third biggest-selling artist in UK singles history, behind only the Beatles and Elvis Presley, said that without the support of the radio he is forced to go on tour but this is not helping anymore as his "long-term fans" are dying.

Opening up in the ‘Greatest Music Of All Time’ podcast, he stated that established music stars like him need a shot at getting their music out there without having to tour. He also asked that his songs be played more regularly so younger listeners can discover him.

“Those of us who have proven ourselves over and over and over again should be given a priority chance [on radio], even if it's to say 'We are going to play this record once a day for two weeks',” he said during the podcast.

Continuing further, the ‘Ocean Deep’ singer added, “Without radio, there is nothing we can do other than go on tour, which is not only tiring, it gets less efficient as time goes by, the audiences get smaller. We are all dying. Long-term fans may not be with us anymore.”

Richard made his debut in 1959 with his album titled 'Cliff' and has since been providing hit albums like '21 Today', 'Wired For Sound' and 'Bold As Brass’. In November 2018, he released his most recent studio album, ‘Rise Up’.

In October 2018, the ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ singer also announced a new tour, called 'The Great 80', for this year September, which will start in Gateshead. The tour will end with two dates at the Royal Albert Hall in London. During the podcast, when he was asked whether he ever plans to retire from the show business, he said, “The word ‘retire’ – I don't think that's in my vocabulary". 

“What I plan to do is what I've done now, really. I've slowed, I've made it a level area – I don't tour for five or six months the way I used to. I can come back with my band – they're all friends of mine.”

Richard’s charges come almost after five years when Madonna accused BBC Radio 1 of snubbing her single 'Living For Love' because she was deemed irrelevant to the station's younger audience. At the time, the ‘Hung Up’ singer told The Sun, “I thought it was so discriminatory and unfair. We've made so many advances in other areas - civil rights, gay rights - but ageism is still an area that's taboo and not talked about and dealt with." “My manager said to me, ‘If you're not in your twenties, it's hard’.”

However, BBC Radio 1 denied the accusations and told MailOnline in a statement, “Radio 1 do not ever ban artists. The tracks are chosen on musical merit and their relevance to our young audience on a case-by-case basis. Whilst around 40 percent of the country's 15 to 29-year-olds tune into Radio 1 each week, an artist's age is never a factor.”

The radio station was again accused of 'ageism' in 2019 by fans for failing to play Madonna's single 'Medellin' from her 14th studio album Madame X from its playlist. That time also BBC Radio 1 and 2 hit back and said, “Individual stations make their own decisions on the songs they play, based on what the audience expects to hear, with no other criteria taken into consideration.” Later the single was added to the playlist for Radio 2.