Belfast Telegraph

Soul II Soul star Melissa Bell dead

Singer Alexandra Burke is mourning the death of her mum.

Soul II Soul singer Melissa Bell has died, aged 53.

Her daughter, former U.K. X Factor winner and TV personality Alexandra Burke, confirmed the sad news via Twitter on Tuesday (29Aug17).

Bell died on Monday (28Aug17).

Burke has opted to continue with her stint on TV show Strictly Come Dancing, because it's what her mother would have wanted.

She tweeted: "Mummy has always been my biggest supporter and was over the moon when I told her I was doing Strictly. It was always a dream of hers that I would one day be part of the show and I know that she would have wanted me to carry on."

A statement from the family reads: "It is with the heaviest and saddest of hearts that the family inform you our beautiful, funny and loving mum, Melissa Bell has passed away.

"Our beautiful mother gained her wings on Monday 28th of August 2017, a day that has changed our lives forever. We will never forget her unconditional love, support, charisma, strength and courage throughout her life. We are eternally proud and thankful to call her our mummy. We would be grateful if you could respect our privacy at this difficult time."

Born Melissa Cecelia Ewen Bell, the singer fronted the Grammy-winning R&B group from 1993 to 1995, recording the hit singles Wish and Be a Man before leaving to follow her solo dreams in 1995.

She had a string of singles released in 1997 and formed a new group, Soul Explosion, in 1999. Bell also recorded the singles Into My World and Love's in Need of Love Today with Dazz. She also performed with Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder.

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