Singer/songwriter Kirsty MacColl first came to prominence as a solo artist during the early 80s, scoring Top 20 hits with "There's a Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis" and "A New England".

Much has been made of the fact that her father was folk-singer Ewan MacColl, (writer of Roberta Flack's 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") but in fact she didn't live with her father, but with her mother in Croydon, near London and grew up with an eclectic taste in music, rather than having a folk background.

She attended art college and worked in a record shop and played with a band called The Drug Addix at the end of the punk era, but despite the punk-ish name the band was, she says, "actually an R&B band." In addition, she has sung backing vocals for around 30 other musicians and bands including The Pogues, with whom she recorded the Christmas hit "Fairytale of New York"

Kirsty MacColl's lyrics are sharp, acutely observed and often bitter, but with an overtone of wry humour, although the lyrics she is still most widely recognised for come from Tracey Ullman's cover of "They Don't Know", a song Kirsty recorded for Stiff in 1979, when she was 19.

She married producer Steve Lillywhite, and the couple had two children before they separated in 1994.

Kirsty was killed in a diving accident on holiday in Mexico on 17 December 2000. She was 41.

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