The late great Marti Caine would have been 66 today

The late great Marti Caine would have been 66 today. Born 26 January 1944 in Sheffield as Lynne Denise Shepherd

Marti's career started at the age of 19, when she was unable to pay the £19 cost of her mother's funeral expenses, she auditioned as Lynne Stringer at the Chapeltown Working Men's Club outside Sheffield and as a result she obtained a three week stint singing under the name Sunny Smith.

her stage name Marti Caine came from her husband Malcolm Stringer and it was chosen  from a gardening book, the name he chose was Marta Cane (tomato cane) but this got misspelled at an early gig and 'Marti Caine' remained with her.

Marti rose to fame when she appeared on the show New Faces in 1975. She won that year's competition, beating Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood.

During the 1980s, Marti returned to New Faces as its compëre - reviving the show into a ratings winner and leading to her catchphrase 'press your buttons now!'.

Marti recorded five albums, also working with Karl Jenkins who wrote a signature tune Quiet Please, The Lady's Gonna Sing using the theme from Sibelius's 5th Symphony. This was her third album, and her second with Jenkins, following the aptly-titled Behind the Smile.

Her seventeen-year marriage broke down in 1978, making front-page headlines in the national press. They had two sons, Lee, 16 and Max, 15. At the time, Marti was reputed to be earning over £100k pa. Marti married again eight years later, to the TV producer Kenneth Ives.

Marti eventually succumbed to lymphatic cancer after a long battle, in 1995 in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire [2]. She had spent the last years of her life campaigning tirelessly on behalf of cancer charities (the proceeds from her last album going directly to the Marti Caine Children with Leukaemia Trust). Marti once joked that 'chemo's a piece of cake after BBC coffee...'

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