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Roger Whittaker, Balladeer With an International Following, Dies at 87

Still uncertain about his future, he consulted a faculty adviser, who, he later recalled, told him, “Have a try in show business and if you haven’t made it in 10 years, come back here and teach.” Mr. Whittaker soon landed a singing job at a resort in Northern Ireland and began his career.

In 1964, he married Natalie O’Brien, who became his manager and co-author of his 1986 memoir, “So Far, So Good.” She survives him, as do their five children, Emily, Lauren, Jessica, Guy and Alexander; 12 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and an elder sister,

A documentary film, “Roger Whittaker in Kenya: A Musical Safari,” which related a history of Kenya and revisited settings of the singer’s early life there, was released in 1982.

Mr. Whittaker found his greatest European success in Germany. While he admitted he could not speak German at first, he sang and recorded in German “phonetically,” as he put it, until he became more fluent. He matured into one of Germany’s favorite singers, selling 10 million albums there.

He also had a devoted following in the United States, where he was best known for “I Don’t Believe in ‘If’ Anymore” (1970); his version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1982); and “New World in the Morning” (1971), the title track of an album that also included “The Last Farewell” and “A Special Kind of Man.”

“Women do not throw underclothes or room keys onstage at his concerts,” Diane White said in a sweet-and-sour appreciation in The Boston Globe. “No one gets high. No one gets hysterical with excitement. And yet Roger Whittaker is one of the most popular entertainers in the world.”

Alex Marshallcontributed reporting.

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