Thursday 17 August 2017

Concert tribute for Kirsty MacColl

Showbiz friends of singer Kirsty MacColl, including Shane MacGowan, will perform to mark the 10th anniversary of her death
Showbiz friends of singer Kirsty MacColl, including Shane MacGowan, will perform to mark the 10th anniversary of her death

Showbiz friends and fans of singer Kirsty MacColl will perform tonight to mark the 10th anniversary of her death in a freak speedboat accident and raise money for one of her favourite causes.

The star-studded line-up for the concert, on what would have been MacColl's 51st birthday, includes Billy Bragg, Ellie Goulding, Catherine Tate, Alison Moyet, Kim Wilde and Shane MacGowan.

Pogues frontman MacGowan is to perform perennial Christmas favourite A Fairytale of New York, with MacColl's part of the duet taken on by Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald.

Profits from the charity event at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire in London will go to The Music Fund for Cuba, which was established in 2001 in memory of the singer, whose last album was inspired by the Caribbean island.

The fund aims to nurture young Cuban musical and other artistic talent by providing support and much-needed equipment.

Ahead of the concert, dedicated fans of the Croydon-born star are expected to make their annual pilgrimage to Soho Square, where a bench carries a plaque commemorating the singer who sang about the busy green space in central London.

MacColl died in December 2000 when she was struck by a motor cruiser after surfacing from a scuba dive with her sons Jamie and Louis off the Mexican coral island of Cozumel, off the Yucatan peninsula.

The singer, who had a string of her own chart successes over two decades and collaborated with many other big names in the business, managed to push her eldest son out of the way but could not herself escape.

A long-running campaign to force a fresh investigation into her death amid a number of controversies was wound up last year when the case was formally closed by the Mexican authorities.

Bragg, with whose song A New England MacColl had a top 10 hit including extra verses he wrote for her, said: "Nothing can right the cruelty and injustice of her death and nothing can bring her back. But we will make sure that her birthday concert night will honour her and celebrate her."

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