Cilla Black said she wanted to die before 75 because she didn't want to be a 'burden'

Black said she felt her body was 'falling apart' in one of her final interviews

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Cilla Black spoke of wanting to die before the age of 75 so she would not have to endure a painful death like her mother in an interview just a year before she passed away.

The late singer and entertainer, who died on Sunday aged 72, described 75 as a “good age to go” in one of her final interviews.

Black suffered with arthritis and severe hearing problems and said she felt as though her body was “falling apart”.

"Seventy-five is a good age to go, I still think that way," she told The Mirror  in 2014.

“Secretly I don’t want to linger. I don’t want to be a burden on anybody. I know 75 is only four years away but I take each day as I find it.

“The hearing is the bugbear. I now have an implant in my ear to help my hearing which I have to turn off at night. I’m talking in an echo chamber at the moment. I guess that’s just getting old – it’ll come to you, too.”

Her mother developed the painful bone disease osteoporosis before her death aged 84.

“She said to me once, ‘I’m trying to die but I can’t’. Oh God, it was heart-breaking. The brain was great but the body wasn’t,” Black said.

"I think that’s what made me feel like this. My biggest fear is going like that when I can’t control my body.”

Black is believed to have died of natural causes at her home in Estepona, in Spain, after travelling there with one of her sons a few days previously. A post mortem is due to take place today. Her publicist said details of her death  would be released after a coroner's report was complete.

Black’s many friends and colleagues paid tribute to the television legend and national treasure on Sunday, with entertainer Paul O’Grady remembering her as a “strong woman” and like a sister to him. David Cameron praised Black as a “huge talent” who made a significant contribution to public life in Britain.