Melissa Bell (singer)

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Melissa Cecelia Ewen Bell (5 March 1964 – 28 August 2017) was an English singer. From 1993 to 1996, Bell was one of the lead singers of British R&B act Soul II Soul, with whom she released a single titled "Wish". She also created her own band called Soul Explosion, which started in 1999. She also worked with Liza Minnelli, Whitney Houston, and Stevie Wonder.

Early life[change | change source]

A native of London, Bell was of African, and East Indian descent through her Jamaican-born parents. She was a graduate of Southwark College in London Borough of Southwark. She later began working in customer service for Marks and Spencer from 1982 until 1991.

Career[change | change source]

In 1987, she featured on Bobby E and the Midi City Crew's single "Walk on the Wild Side". In 1991, she appeared on the song "The Dancer" from the Bingoboys' album The Best of Bingoboys. She released her debut single "Reconsider" in 1992, which received major radio play. In the same year, she released another single titled "Crystal Clear".

In 1993, Bell joined British musical group Soul II Soul after Jazzie B heard her single "Reconsider" and asked her to join the group. She recorded a single called "Wish", which was released on their greatest hits album Volume IV The Classic Singles 88–93 in 1993. The single peaked at number 24 on the UK Singles Chart. The success of the song invited her to perform the song on Top of the Pops. She continued to record and tour with the group as one of their featured singers. In 1995, she performed lead vocals on the song "Be a Man" on their fourth studio album Volume V: Believe. In 1996, she left the group to continue her solo career.

In 1997, Bell released four singles "Rumbled Sex", "Surrender", "Mixed Up", and "Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now"; which featured Potential Bad Boy. In 1999, she formed a new soul band called Soul Explosion. In 2000, she released two singles "Into My World" and "Love's in Need of Love Today" with a group called Dazz. In 2002, she released another single "(No More) Searching".

In June 2010, she released her autobiography Heart and Soul: The Emotional Autobiography of Melissa Bell.

Personal life[change | change source]

Bell was the mother of four children including singer Alexandra Burke.[1] She suffered from diabetes, a condition which ran in her family. She also suffered kidney failure, and struggled to attend her daughter's live performances during her time on The X Factor.[2] On 29 August 2017, her daughter announced the death of the singer.[3]

  • 1991: "Walk on the Wild Side" (Bobby E and the Midi City Crew featuring Melissa Bell)
  • 1992: "Reconsider"
  • 1992: "Crystal Clear"
  • 1993: "Wish" (with Soul II Soul)
  • 1997: "Rumbled Sex"
  • 1997: "Surrender"
  • 1997: "Mixed Up"
  • 1997: "Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now" (featuring Potential Bad Boy)
  • 2000: "Into My World" (with Dazz)
  • 2001: "Love's in Need of Love Today" (with Dazz)
  • 2002: "(No More) Searching"
  • 2009: "Innocent Till Proven Guilty"

References[change | change source]

  1. Forster, Katie (22 March 2015). "Mother and daughter singers Melissa Bell and Alexandra Burke on their special relationship". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  2. "Islington News: X Factor - Alexandra Burke - Melissa Bell - Royal Free Hospital". Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  3. "Melissa Bell, Soul II Soul singer and mother of Alexandra Burke, dies aged 53". Retrieved 29 August 2017.