Shakin' Stevens pays tribute to 'Merry Christmas Everyone' writer and "dear friend" Bob Heatlie

18 April 2023, 11:43

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By Mayer Nissim

Bob Heatlie also wrote hits for Aneka and Cliff Richard.

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Shakin' Stevens has paid tribute to songwriter Bob Heatlie, who wrote his massive seasonal hit 'Merry Christmas Everyone'.

Bob died earlier this month at the age of 76.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved dad, grandad, brother and family man, Bobby Heatlie, who peacefully passed away at home, around 11am on Saturday 8th April 2023, with close family by his side," read a statement from his family on his official Facebook page.

"He will be dearly missed. Bobby, Michael & David xxx Mary Anne, Lilian, Cosmo & Tina xxxx Charlie x"

Bob Heatlie 20 July 1946 - 8 April 2023 It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our beloved dad,...

Posted by Bob Heatlie Senior on Monday, April 10, 2023

Heatlie was perhaps best known for writing Shakin' Stevens 1985 Christmas chart-topper 'Merry Christmas Everyone'.

They had previously worked together on the top 20 singles 'Cry Just A Little Bit' and 'Breaking Up My Heart'.

Heatlie's first hit single was 'Japanese Boy', which Aneka took to number one in 1981. He also wrote 'Locked Inside Your Prison' for Cliff Richard's top 10 1983 album Silver.

Last weekend we heard the sad news that our dear friend, Bob Heatlie, had passed away," Stevens wrote on Twitter.

"Bob was not only exceptionally talented, but also a great human being.

"A light has gone out, and we will sorely miss our friend. All our love to Bob’s family at this sad time. Shaky & Sue."

Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone (Official 4K Video)

In 2015, Heatlie told the BBC that the royalties from writing 'Merry Christmas Everyone' had effectively given him "a nice little pension".

"I always thought it would be nice to create a Christmas hit that would become an evergreen," he said. "I didn't think it would happen, but it did."

He previously said of writing the song: "I made some Christmassy sounds on a keyboard and the lyrics just started coming... I wrote the song in summer, during a heatwave.

"It was so hot I was wearing shorts, dripping in sweat, standing there recording with jingling bells, thinking, 'This is crazy!'."

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