Former Soul II Soul lead singer Melissa Bell has died, aged 53

Bell's daughter Alexandra Burke praised her late mother's "unconditional love, support, charisma, strength and courage throughout her life"

The former lead singer of Soul II Soul, Melissa Bell, has died at the age of 53.

Bell was best known for her stint in the Grammy award-winning band, which she joined in 1993. Among her recordings with the band were the singles ‘Wish’ (1993) and 1995’s ‘Be A Man’, but Bell left Soul II Soul in 1995 to pursue a solo career. Bell later had a spell as the lead singer of the band Soul Explosion.

Bell’s daughter Alexandra Burke announced the news of her mother’s passing on social media earlier today (August 29).

The former X Factor winner paid tribute to her late mother, praising her “unconditional love, support, charisma, strength and courage throughout her life.” See Burke’s post below.

Bell had struggled with health problems for a number of years, and suffered from kidney failure in 2008 while Burke was competing in The X Factor.

Back in 2015, Bell and Burke gave a joint interview to The Guardian where they explained the support they had for one another’s music careers.

“My career as a singer has given her the ambition to do better than I did, and if she has a child I’m pretty sure it will go even further,” Bell said of her daughter’s successful career.