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Imelda's grief over losing cousin


Imelda May. Photo: Getty Images

Imelda May. Photo: Getty Images

Imelda May. Photo: Getty Images

singer Imelda May said she has been secretly hiding her grief at the death of her cousin who recently lost her battle with cancer.

The 40-year-old singer posted the moving tribute to her late relative, Caroline Dowling, on Facebook last night.

"I don't often put very personal things on here but I feel I have to," she said.


"I've been deeply sad over the last few days and didn't want anyone to feel it at the gigs. The show must go on as they say and all the band and crew have been amazing as I grieved.

"You see, my fabulous, gorgeous, charismatic, funny and loving cousin Caroline Dowling (nee Clabby) died at 40-years-old. She battled like a warrior with cancer and it unfortunately won.

"All my love goes to her two kids and husband, brother, sister, nieces and my Uncle Michael. Raise a glass or a smile to our Caroline."

She accompanied her message with a picture of her late relative, smiling as she held up a pint of Guinness.

Popular Imelda, who's married to Darren Higham with whom she has baby Violet (23 months), has been inundated with messages of condolences in the wake of sharing her sad news.

The quiff-haired star is over in America this month, where she performed at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco on Sunday.

And she has revealed how she's recording a duet with music legend Meatloaf this week after he personally contacted her about collaborating.


"Meat Loaf said, 'Do you want to do a duet?' And I just said, 'Yes, when and where?'. It will be up to his end when he releases it," she said.

Imelda added that her latest album Tribal is going down well with American audiences, saying they are "great".

"They get what I am doing but as my band will tell you, nowhere tops the Irish audience," she said. "They are just brilliant. They are very open, but the Americans and Spanish come a close second.

"They are very passionate and, like the Irish, they don't have as many inhibitions. If you are playing somewhere like Austria or Sweden it takes them a little while to come out of themselves."

And Imelda said she relishes the challenge of being a virtual unknown in the States.

"People don't know you as well at festivals like Outside Lands so you are starting from scratch again," she said.

"I like getting a kick up the ass as it keeps you on your toes."

Imelda said her two Dublin shows at the O2 in December "will be our last gigs in Ireland for a while".