Following the phenomenal success of Alexandra Burke on last night’s X Factor – eight million telephone voters and a winning majority for Alexandra of one million votes – I was interested to read about the tragedy surrounding her mother.
Back in 1991, Alexandra’s mother Melissa Bell was in the audience of a talent competition in London but ended up singing in front of the crowd, which included a talent scout from the Independent label. Subsequently signed to the label, she recorded her debut single “Reconsider” which became an instant hit. Melissa went on to work with such legends as Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, before becoming lead singer of legends Soul II Soul.
But today, in her own words, “I don’t have any kidneys at all right now – I get really tired”. She is currently waiting for a donor for pancreas and kidneys.
However, Melissa Bell is lead singer of the band “Soul Explosion”. Their website (link below) indicates that they play corporate functions, weddings and barmitzvahs. There’s also a link to the band’s line-up, which states that the two backing vocalists are Alexandra Bell and Sheniece Burke (shown on last night’s X Factor as Alexandra’s sister). The narrative states:
“Both Alex and Sheniece are talented backing vocalist(s) during Soul Explosions many performances. Alex is currently recording her debut album and works as a session vocalist in the UK recording scene. Sheniece is a touring vocalist who has worked with Cindi Lauper and Donna Summer.”
Indeed, in an article on the Scotland on Sunday website, music critic Colin Somerville says “…It’s clear that Cowell would have known who she was because he’s probably worked with her mother…”. So tragic about her Mum, but it appears Alexandra Burke – or Bell – isn’t quite the wide-eyed amateur she appeared. Bit sad really.