Bob Heatlie, songwriter behind Merry Christmas Everyone, dies aged 76

Bob Heatlie, songwriter behind Merry Christmas Everyone, dies aged 76

Bob Heatlie, the writer behind Merry Christmas Everyone, has died aged 76.

He died on April 8, it has been confirmed, with friends and colleagues paying tribute on social media.

Heatlie’s CV boasts an extensive range of songwriting credits, as he worked with some of the biggest artists, including Sir Cliff Richard.

Of course, he also worked with Shakin’ Stevens.

His work with the Welsh star began in 1983 with the single Cry Just a Little Bit, before they penned Breaking Up My Heart.

Merry Christmas Everyone then became Christmas number one in 1985 and has since cemented itself as a real festive classic.

Paying tribute to his late friend and co-writer, Stevens wrote online: ‘Bob was not only exceptionally talented, but also a great human being.

‘A light has gone out, and we will sorely miss our friend.’

Heatlie has spoken about the success of Merry Christmas Everyone, which earned him a pretty penny in royalties each year.

The writer, from Craigmillar in Edinburgh, told BBC Scotland in 2015: ‘It is a nice little pension.

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

Heatlie also wrote the song Japanese Boy for Scottish folk singer Mary Sandeman, better known by her stage name, Aneka.

The single topped the charts in 1981.

He is also credited on Sir Cliff’s song Locked Inside Your Prison.

Elsewhere, Heatlie also wrote songs for television.

He wrote music for children’s shows Little Robots and Trapdoor and, alongside David Pringle, created the Fun House theme tune and the Spin to Win music from Wheel of Fortune.

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