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Kathy Kirby

Hailing from Ilford, Essex, Kathy Kirby sang her way into the charts with discs like Dance On and Secret Love, then went on to lucrative cabaret and stage appearances and her own TV series, which netted her £18,000.

Often compared to Marilyn Monroe, Kathy was only sixteen when she first sang in an Ilford dance hall with the Ambrose Band and learned her trade the hard way, singing with dance bands.

Her manager, veteran musician Bert Ambrose, shrewdly guided her career to the point that at 24, Kathy was in the £1000 a week class, although her singing career was eclipsed by a turbulent personal life.

Kathy gave one last concert in Blackpool in 1983 and after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, she retired from showbiz. She passed away in 2011.