The Sun reports that former lead singer of Soul II Soul, Melissa Bell, has died at the age of 53. Bell had struggled with health problems for a number of years, and suffered from kidney failure in 2008 while her daughter, Alexandra Burke was competing in The X Factor.
Remembering Melissa Bell:
Soul II Soul was a British musical group formed in London in 1988. The group was best known for their hit songs Back to Life (However Do You Want Me) and Keep On Movin with Caron Wheeler as the lead vocalists. In 1993, Bell joined the British musical group Soul II Soul after founding member Jazzie B heard her single “Reconsider” and asked her to join the group. Bell recorded a single called Wish, which was released on their greatest hits album in 1993. Like Wheeler, Bell left the group in 1995 to pursue a solo career. Bell later had a spell as the lead singer of the band Soul Explosion.
See Melissa Bell Singing Wish Below:
Aside from her musical career, Bell considered her children as one of her greatest achievements as she was particularly fond of her daughter, Alexandra Burke. While Burke was a contestant on The X Factor in the UK in 2008, Bell would watch her daughter’s performances on television from a hospital bed as she was too ill to go to the taping of the shows. Not wanting to miss any more of her daughter’s performances, Bell cut short her normal four hours of dialysis to see her daughter take home the win. Bell was on a waiting list to have a kidney and liver transplant after her kidneys failed due to chronic diabetes.
After securing the win for X factor in 2008, Burke went on to tour with the musical Sister Act as well as The Bodyguard. However, in December of 2016, she took to Instagram to ask for prayers for her mother. Describing her mother as loving and very supportive, Burke revealed that her mother was the strongest woman she knew as she battled health problems. Burke wrote the following on her Instagram page:
To be honest with you — my main reason for writing this blog isn’t just to say thank you but it’s to ask you all for one more little favour if I may… I never usually do this. But I know the power of the universe… I wanted to ask you all to pray for my amazing mother Melissa. My mum has gone through so much this year with her health and I mean it when I say she is the strongest woman I know. I shed a little tear as I write this blog because some of you guys actually know my mummy and know how much of a loving woman she is. I won’t go into detail. But your prayers are needed and I know my mum will appreciate them. I thank you guys for reading this and also thank you for your support.
Tragically, Melissa Bell, the 53-year-old singer from London, passed away after a nine-year battle with kidney failure, which was brought on by diabetes.
A statement from the Burke family said Bell died on August 28 and paid tribute to her ‘unconditional love, support, charisma, strength and courage’. Currently, Burke is fulfilling her dream as a Strictly Come Dance contestant as she praised her mother for being one of her biggest fans. Burke shared that her mother would want her to continue.
Our prayers are with the family.