Billy Fury, born Ronald Wycherley, was an internationally successful English singer from the late-1950s to the mid-1960s, and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. Rheumatic fever, which he first contracted as a child, damaged his heart and ultimately contributed to his death. An early British rock and roll star, he equalled The Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart, without a chart-topping single or album. Allmusic journalist, Bruce Eder, stated, "His mix of rough-hewn good looks and unassuming masculinity, coupled with an underlying vulnerability, all presented with a good voice and some serious musical talent, helped turn Fury into a major rock and roll star in short order". Others have suggested that Fury's rapid rise to prominence was due to his "Elvis Presley-influenced, hip-swivelling, and at times highly suggestive stage act."