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Melissa Bell, Soul II Soul singer and mother of X Factor star Alexandra Burke, has passed away at the age of 53, due to kidney failure.

Bell was the lead vocalist in Grammy award-winning act Soul II Soul. She joined in 1993 after founder Jazzie B heard her debut solo single “Reconsider”.

Their song “Wish”, where Bell sang lead vocals, featured on their greatest hits album Volume IV that same year, and peaked at number 24 in the UK singles chart.

In December last year, Alexandra spoke about her mother’s health in an Instagram post, where she called for her followers to pray for her “amazing mother”.

She said: “My mum has gone through so much this year with her health and I mean it when I say she is really 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.”

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