Born as Harry Lillis Crosby Jr. in Tacoma, Washington (USA) on 3 May 1903, Bing Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby’s trademark warm bass-baritone voice made him the best-selling recording artist of the 20th century, having sold over one billion records, tapes, compact discs and digital downloads around the world.

Between 1931 and 1954 Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses. His early career coincided with technical recording innovations such as the microphone. This allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him. In 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music. The biggest hit song of Crosby’s career was his recording of Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’, which he introduced on a Christmas Day radio broadcast in 1941. The song remains the bestselling single of all time.

Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O’Malley in the 1944 motion picture ‘Going My Way’ and was nominated for his reprise of the role in ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s’ opposite Ingrid Bergman the next year, becoming the first of six actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character. In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award.

Crosby died of a heart attack on 14 October 1977 in Madrid (Spain) during a golfing holiday.

Kate mentions Bing Crosby in the lyrics of her song December Will Be Magic Again.