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Kirsty MacColl


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Croydon, England, UK (1979 – 2000)

Kirsty Anna MacColl (Croydon, England, UK on 10 October 1959 - 18 December 2000) was a British pop singer-songwriter. She was the daughter of dancer Jean Newlove and noted folk singer Ewan MacColl.

MacColl began her career in the late 1970s UK punk rock scene, singing backing vocals for Drug Addix. Her UK hits included the 1981 single “There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis”, a cover of Billy Bragg’s “A New England” in 1985, a duet with Shane MacGowan of The Pogues on “Fairytale of New York” in 1987, and a cover of The Kinks’ song “Days” in 1989. She was probably most recognizable in the United States as the writer of “They Don’t Know” a hit in 1979.

After a break from the music industry for much of the 1990s, several trips to Cuba and Brazil restored MacColl’s creative muse, and the world music-inspired (particularly Cuban and other Latin American forms) Tropical Brainstorm, often described as her finest work, was released in 2000.

On 18 December 2000, while swimming in a restricted diving area with her family on a holiday in Cozumel, she was killed in a collision with a powerboat while managing to drag her son out of its path. The boat was owned by Mexican supermarket millionaire Guillermo González Nova (owner of Comercial Mexicana), who was on board with several members of his family. A boathand, José Cen Yam, claimed to have been driving the boat and was found guilty of culpable homicide and, under Mexican law, allowed to pay a fine of 1034 pesos (about USD 90) in lieu of a prison sentence of that many days. However, eyewitnesses contradict Cen Yam’s claim to have been driving and also González Nova’s claim that the boat was travelling at a speed of only one knot.


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  • fpfbm54

    I adore Us Amazonians. Stunning lady!

    16 Jul 2014 Reply
  • GhostFame

    i'm a total metalhead but i can completely realise how fucking incredible Kirsty MacColl was

    23 Mar 2014 Reply
  • luckystoned

    their music will be remembered .....

    13 Aug 2013 Reply
  • semionato

    the staggering amount of natural talent and charisma of this lady (killed in a hideous boating accident in cozumel, mexico). weirdly, i cannot seem to forget her gory death while listening to her glorious creations. it doesn't happen with elliott smith, nick drake, otis redding, billie holiday et al. but it happens to kirsty. how come?

    15 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Berrieworld

    Each time I listen to Kirsty's music I feel blessed we can enjoy her amazing talent and I feel sad we can't have her around us anymore...

    18 Nov 2012 Reply
  • rainy-dog

    i'm so glad "desperate character" has finally been remastered and released on cd.

    9 Oct 2012 Reply
  • roxy641

    Sadly she wasn't fully appreciated even at the height of her chart hits. We miss you Kirsty.

    19 Jul 2012 Reply
  • semionato

    stunning stuff.

    28 Jun 2012 Reply
  • PhoenixBloom

    Still thinking of Kirsty! <3

    26 Jun 2012 Reply
  • SimoneBerlioz


    18 Feb 2012 Reply
  • rainy-dog

    she used to use a lot of imagery relating to water in her songwriting. even when those songs were verging on euphoric, it's quite bittersweet to hear them now in light of what happened. i wish she'd never been taken from us.

    25 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Klash69NYC

    Such a beautiful voice. I miss Kirsty a lot. Thankfully there are so many places to hear her: her own music, and guesting on others albums. A big loss for us all.

    20 Dec 2011 Reply
  • HellBelleAustin

    In These Shoes is one of my ALL TIME favorite sad we won't have more music from Kirsty...she was so awesome.

    1 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Olleroo

    I like her voice, it's so either usual and unisual, I get greatest pleasure and cannot stop listening to her. I really missing, she'd been gone...

    14 Aug 2011 Reply
  • YControl755

    can't get enough of her...she was a true original in a world full of bores

    23 Jul 2011 Reply
  • titanicbryn

    I really miss Kirsty :( R.I.P.

    29 May 2011 Reply
  • michaelhlamb

    10 years without Kirsty MacColl...R.I.P. But she is alive in my heart! (3)

    10 May 2011 Reply
  • brownieboy

    A new england catchy track.

    4 Mar 2011 Reply
  • kbc246

    this woman was a genius...damn. like out-of-this-world talented.

    3 Mar 2011 Reply
  • Furashubakku

    Whenever I listen to Billy Bragg and hear Kirsty's voice, I always feel a little sad.

    12 Feb 2011 Reply
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