Cliff Richard honours ‘dear friend’ Olivia Newton-John with ‘emotional’ reworked song on new album

Cliff Richard has paid tribute to his dear friend, the late Olivia Newton-John, with a reworked version of their duet “Suddenly” on his forthcoming album.

It’s been over a year since the Grease star died in August 2022. Breast cancer was reported as the cause of death.

On Tuesday (29 August), Richard, 82, has announced he’s celebrating 65 years in the music industry with his newest album Cliff with Strings – My Kinda Life, which is expected to be released on 3 November.

“It is really an emotional journey to listen back to some of my original vocals and hear just how young I was and how my style changed over the years,” the “Summer Holiday” singer said.

“These tracks mean a lot to me and they are so refreshed with the orchestral arrangements,” Richard added. “The most emotional track on the album for me is ‘Suddenly’ with my dear friend Olivia Newton-John.”

The pair had originally recorded the song’s vocals for the 1980 musical fantasy movie Xanadu, in which Newton-John starred opposite Michael Beck.

However, the new version includes vocals from their October 2015 performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Cliff Richard and Olivia Newton-John (Getty Images)
Cliff Richard and Olivia Newton-John (Getty Images)

“We recorded this version together live for my 75th birthday in 2015 and it always strikes me how well our voices sounded together and the crystal gentility that Olivia always managed to exude,” Richard said.

“I’m glad I was able to highlight this great performance again.”

Comprised of seven decades worth of hits, Cliff with Strings – My Kinda Life will also include “Living Doll”, “Summer Holiday” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore”. It will feature orchestral arrangments from composer Chris Walden.

It comes after his latest release in November 2022, Christmas with Cliff, which marked his third album filled with Christmas songs. Shortly after the latter’s debut, he poked fun at artists who announce they are retiring only to make a comeback soon after.

“We’ve all known artists who retire and then they make four or five comebacks,” Richard told This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

“Every time they make a comeback, I think ‘they’ve run out of money,’ he joked. “And I don’t want anyone to think that about me!”

Cliff with Strings – My Kinda Life will be available to listen to digitally and on CD from 3 November, with a vinyl release set for 24 November.