Funeral of singer ‘Black’ to take place in Co Cork

Liverpool-born ‘Wonderful Life’ singer died after car crash on way to Cork Airport

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday in Co Cork for singer-songwriter Black (53) who died in Cork University Hospital last month after being in a car crash while on the way to Cork Airport.

The singer, whose name was Colin Vearncombe, was fatally injured in a single vehicle collision between Fivemile and Cork Airport on January 10th and died 16 days later at CUH.

Mr Vearncombe had lived in Schull in, West Cork since 2003. On Wednesday, his widow, Camilla and children, Max, Marius and Milan will gather with friends for a funeral service in the local church.

His remains will be cremated at private ceremony on Thursday and a memorial service will be held in his native Merseyside, with a service at Liverpool Cathedral on February 19th.


Mr Vearncombe had a 35-year career in music, releasing his first single as Black, Human Features, in 1981. Black signed a major label deal with WEA in 1984, but was soon dropped.

In 1985, he wrote and released the single Wonderful Life, which became a worldwide hit after it was re-released by A&M in 1987.

“By the end of 1985 I had been in a couple of car crashes, my mother had a serious illness, I had been dropped by a record company, my first marriage went belly-up and I was homeless.

"Then I sat down and wrote this song called Wonderful Life. I was being sarcastic," he said later after the song went to number eight8 in the British charts.

Though he never replicated that commercial success, he was able to continue working, releasing eight albums as Black and six under his own name.

In 2015, Black released the album Blind Faith.

Mr Vearncombe attributed his commercial failure after the success of Wonderful Life to rows with his label, which caused him to stop writing songs . That was "his one regret", he said in an interview in 2014.

A painter and poet as well as a singer-songwriter, he once said he had moved to Co Cork because: “I like my elbow room, and eccentricity is tolerated here.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times