Tony Christie: what did Amarillo singer say about dementia diagnosis - what other songs did he sing?

Music icon Tony Christie is best known for hits such as (Is This the Way To) Amarillo and Las Vegas
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Music veteran Tony Christie has opened up about his heartbreaking dementia diagnosis. Christie revealed he was diagnosed with dementia in 2019, but told viewers that he is determined to fight the disease and carry on living life to the fullest.

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The 79-year-old singer has enjoyed an incredibly successful career in music since the 1970s - he is best known by fans for his two-time chart topping song (Is This the Way To) Amarillo.

But what did Christie say about his dementia diagnosis and is he likely to carry on performing in 2023?

Here is everything you need to know.

What did Tony Christie say about his dementia diagnosis?

Tony Christie opened about his dementia diagnosis during an interview on BBC Breakfast in which he explained that he was diagnosed last year.

Christie said: “I used to go through two or three crosswords a day and [I wasn’t able to]. I was like, what’s happening to me?

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My wife said let’s go and get checked. They told me I had early onset dementia and that was two years ago. I ignored it.

“I just said carry on and I just did carry on and worked. So why have I come out about it? Well I’ve met a lot of people who have got it and they’re worried about it.”

Tony Christie has vowed to carry on performing in 2023. (Getty Images)Tony Christie has vowed to carry on performing in 2023. (Getty Images)
Tony Christie has vowed to carry on performing in 2023. (Getty Images)

Christie admits he is not worried about the disease and claims the best advice he could give someone would be to seek advice and get tablets.

Christie said: “I am not worried about it. I’ve spoken to specialists and they’ve given me tablets and they gradually worked. The advice to people who are worried about it is to go and see a specialist and get on tablets.”

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The 79-year-old vowed to carry on performing, and also claimed that music has acted as a medication for him.

He said: “I’m used to working, it’s daunting when I don’t work, and I love music - and that is good for what I have got, it’s medication. Whatever this is, it is, and we will deal with it. I was a little bit down but I thought ‘I can still work, it’s not affecting my singing, my voice, my show. As long as I can get on that stage and do what I was born to do.”

Who is Tony Christie - what songs did he sing?

Anthony Fitzgerard, known professionally as Tony Christie is an English singer and musician. He was born in Doncaster on 25 April 1943 and raised in South Yorkshire.

Christie’s career began in the accounts office of a steel company in Yorkshire, while at the same time he was singing professionally in a number of working men’s clubs across the North of England.

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Christie’s musical heroes growing up were artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald who he had heard on his dad’s collection growing up.

Christie had gradually built up a strong reputation as a singer through his performances around the country and his chart breakthrough came in 1971 when his rendition of “Las Vegas” reached the UK top 30.

Tony Christie has opened up about his dementia diagnosis. (Getty Images)Tony Christie has opened up about his dementia diagnosis. (Getty Images)
Tony Christie has opened up about his dementia diagnosis. (Getty Images)

The Doncaster singer enjoyed further success with I Did What I Did for Maria which peaked at number 2 in the UK Charts.  In 1971, Christie released his biggest hit (Is This the Way To) Amarillo, which was originally written by American Neil Sedaka.

The song wasn’t an instant hit in the UK and it only made the lower reaches of the UK top 20. However, it enjoyed a great deal of success worldwide and reached Number 1 in Spain.

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Christie’s popularity waned in the UK with the onset of punk music in the 1980s, but his career in Europe grew from strength to strength throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Christie reached the top of the UK charts in 2005 when Peter Kay mimed to (Is This the Way to) Amarillo for the Comic Relief TV Show. It remained top of the charts for a total of seven weeks.

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