Showbiz friends and fans of Kirsty MacColl paid a personal tribute to the singer last night with a star-studded concert marking the 10th anniversary of her death. The line-up for the concert, on what would have been MacColl's 51st birthday, included Billy Bragg, Ellie Goulding, Catherine Tate, Alison Moyet and Kim Wilde.
Profits from the 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, the daughter of folk singer Ewan 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 coral island of Cozumel. 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 Mexican authorities formally closed the case.