Former Soul II Soul member Melissa Bell, 53, has died. Her daughter, singer and UK X Factor winner Alexandra Burke confirmed the sad news via Twitter.
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 mom, 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 mommy. We would be grateful if you could respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
— Alexandra Burke (@alexandramusic) August 29, 2017
Burke, who is currently on the TV show Strictly Come Dancing, plans to stay on during this difficult time.
“Mummy has always been my biggest supporter and was over the moon when I told her I was doing Strictly,” she tweeted. “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.”
Born Melissa Cecelia Ewen Bell, the singer fronted the Grammy-winning R&B group Soul II SOul from 1993 to 1995, recording the hit singles “Wish” and “Be a Man” before leaving to follow her solo career 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.
Our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones. R.I.P.