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Fans remember Fairytale of New York singer Kirsty MacColl who died extremely tragic death 23 years ago today

Fans remember Fairytale of New York singer Kirsty MacColl who died extremely tragic death 23 years ago today

The late and great singer died on 18 December, 2000, after a horror accident.

Fans of the late and great folk singer Kirsty MacColl are remembering the star on the 23rd anniversary of her tragic death today (18 December).

It is even more poignant this year following the recent death of her legendary duet partner Shane MacGowan, who helped her top the charts with The Pogues' best known song, 'Fairytale of New York'.

The iconic Christmas track is responsible for introducing a lot of us to MacColl's incredible talent, but she had already managed to forge her own path to stardom throughout the 1980s before crooning alongside MacGowan.

She lent her singing talents to the likes of The Smiths and Simple Minds with backing vocals, while her debut single They Don't Know peaked at number two on the charts after its release in 1979.

The Croydon-born singer went on to churn out other hits such as There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis and a cover of Billy Bragg's A New England, earning her a legion of loyal fans.

But her big break finally came in 1987 following the release of The Pogues Christmas anthem Fairytale of New York, thrusting her into the mainstream spotlight.

MacGowan, who sadly died on 30 November, previously said of his duet partner: "Kirsty knew exactly the right measure of viciousness and femininity and romance. In operas, if you have a double aria, it's what the woman does that really matters. The man lies, the woman tells the truth."

The late Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan sang Fairytale of New York together.
Tim Roney/Getty Images

He said he was 'madly in love' with MacColl since the first time he saw her perform on Top Of The Pops, dubbing her a 'genius in her own right' who 'made Fairytale of New York her own'.

Fans touchingly said they hope the pair are belting it out up above over the festive period, as MacGowan previously revealed listening to their smash hit used to 'depress him' following his duet partner's death.

The music world was rocked on 18 December, 2000, when news broke that MacColl's life had tragically been cut short.




Although your mum tells you the story of what happened to the singer every Christmas when Fairytale of New York comes on the radio, here's a reminder.

The mum-of-two had been recording a programme in Cuba when she decided to take a trip to Cozumel, Mexico, with her boyfriend James Knight and her two sons Louis, then 13, and Jamie, who was age 15.

The singer passed away after a horror accident on 18 December, 2000.
Ian Dickson/Redferns

She went diving with her boys in the Chankanaab reef on 18 December, 2000, which was a designated diving area where watercraft were restricted from entering - but a powerboat did not abide by the rules.

As they resurfaced from their underwater excursion, the vessel ploughed through the restricted zone at high speed.

MacColl managed to spot the boat terrifyingly veering right for them and bravely pushed Jamie out of its path as it careered towards him - saving his life.

However, she was sadly struck by the powerboat and suffered fatal head and chest injuries which killed her on impact.

MacColl's body was later repatriated to the UK and she was cremated following a funeral service at Mortlake Crematorium in Kew on 20 January, 2001.

The powerboat's owner was Carlos González Nova, founder of the Comercial Mexicana supermarket chain and the brother of the chain's multimillionaire president, Guillermo González Nova.

An employee of Guillermo, José Cen Yam, said he was driving the boat at the time and he was later found guilty of culpable homicide, seeing him sentenced to two years and ten months in prison.

Fans are remembering her tragic death 23 years on.
Hayley Madden/Redferns

But he didn't end up getting put behind bars and instead paid a £61 fine to dodge jail time, which prompted MacColl's family to launch the Justice For Kirsty campaign calling for a judicial review amid the lack of cooperation from the Mexican government.

Now, 23 years on from the singer's death, fans are remembering MacColl and are paying tribute on social media.

One said: "Remembering the beautifully talented Kirsty MacColl who tragically died 23 years ago today in Cozumel, Mexico at the age of 41. RIP."

While another wrote: "Today marks the 23rd anniversary of Kirsty MacColl's death, all the more poignant this year given Shane MacGowan's recent death. One of the greatest Xmas songs ever."

And a third added: "This was the saddest news. Horrific accident and a beautiful talent ripped from her family and from us. May Kirsty MacColl and Shane Mcgowan be singing with and above all Angels."

Featured Image Credit: Tim Roney/Getty Ian Dickson/Getty

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