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The BBC's June Kelly
"Kirsty will be remembered as a talented artist"
 real 56k

Paul Conroy, President of Virgin Records UK
"It is a very sad day indeed"
 real 28k

Friend and former Radio 1 DJ, Janice Long
"She was a lover of life"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 19 December, 2000, 18:20 GMT
Singer Kirsty MacColl dies
Kirsty MacColl
MacColl was a much-loved figure in the music industry
Singer and songwriter Kirsty MacColl has died after an accident on a diving holiday in Mexico.

The singer was killed on Monday in the sea close to the coral island of Cozumel, off the Yucatan peninsula.

Details are sketchy, but it is believed she was hit by a speedboat which was in an area reserved for swimmers.

Her two sons were both with her in the water, but they are said to be unhurt.

Their father and MacColl's former husband, music producer Steve Lillywhite, has flown out to Mexico to comfort them.

The daughter of folk singer Ewan MacColl, she is best known for her 1987 Christmas hit with The Pogues, Fairytale of New York, and the hit single There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis.

Once in punk band Drug Addix, her first solo release was They Don't Know, in 1979.

It failed to reach the charts, but became a hit some years later when it was covered by Tracey Ullman.

Kirsty MacColl
MacColl's solo career started when she split from punk band Drug Addix
MacColl's other hits include a cover of Billy Bragg's song A New England, and a version of The Kinks' track Days.

She also sang backing vocals for acts including Talking Heads, Simple Minds and Robert Plant.

Her last album, Tropical Brainstorm, was a tribute to Cuban music, which had influenced her throughout the 1990s.

MacColl's manager, Kevin Nixon of Major Minor Management, who worked with her for four years, said: "We are absolutely distraught.

"I was personally immensely proud to be her manager after being a fan for so many years before that."

On Wednesday, BBC Radio 2 was due to begin broadcasting a documentary series she had made about Cuban music.

She had recorded the series in Havana, interviewing musicians from the Buena Vista Social Club and Ry Cooder.

The series has now been postponed and the station will consult her family to see if they want the broadcast to go ahead.

A spokeswoman said: "We have decided to delay the broadcast of Kirsty MacColl's Cuba as a mark of respect until we have had the opportunity to consult the family as to their wishes.

"We are devastated at her loss which is a tragedy for her family and has robbed the world of a major musical talent. She will be much missed."

The singer spoke about how she would spend this Christmas "with my family and friends" in BBC promotional material to accompany the series.

Click here to read BBC News Online users' tributes to Kirsty MacColl.

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See also:

19 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Kirsty MacColl's life of music
19 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Music industry mourns MacColl
20 Dec 00 | Talking Point
Kirsty MacColl: Your tributes
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