Melissa Bell, Soul II Soul singer and mother of X Factor star Alexandra Burke, has died. her family has said in a statement.
Bell, understood to have been aged 53, was the lead vocalist in Grammy award-winning act Soul II Soul. She joined in 1993 after founder Jazzie B heard her debut solo single “Reconsider”.
Their song “Wish”, where Bell sang lead vocals, featured on their greatest hits album Volume IV that same year, and peaked at number 24 in the UK singles chart.
Her family said in a statement: “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 wins on Monday 28 of August 2017, a day that changed our lives forever.
“We will never forget her unconditional support, charisma, strength and courage throughout her life. We are eternallly proud and thankful to call her our mummy.
“We would be grateful if you could respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
Burke said in a separate post on Twitter: “Mummy has always been my biggest supporter and was over the moon when I told her I was doing Strictly Come Dancing.
“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.”