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19th Dec 2023

Fans pay tribute to Kirsty MacColl on 23rd anniversary of her death

Fiona Frawley

kirsty maccoll anniversary

“One day I’ll be waiting there, no empty bench in Soho Square.”

Fans are sharing tributes to Kirsty MacColl on the 23rd anniversary of her death.

The ‘Fairytale of New York’ singer, who sang alongside the recently passed Shane MacGowan on the number one Christmas hit, died in 2000, aged 41, after a shocking accident in Mexico.

As well as contributing to the famous Christmas song with the Pogues singer, MacColl also found success with her single ‘There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis’ and cover versions of Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’ and the Kinks’ ‘Days’.

Kirsty MacColl (Getty Images)

Fans remember Kirsty MacColl on 23rd anniversary of her death

On December 18, 2000, while on a diving expedition with her sons at the Chankanaab reef, part of the National Marine Park of Cozumel, Mexico, MacColl was struck and killed by a powerboat while pushing one of her sons out of the way of its path.

Her actions saved her son’s life and her family would go on to start up the Justice for Kirsty campaign, which aimed to achieve a judicial review into the events surrounding her death.

One user on X said: “Thinking of (and playing the album Kite because its bloody marvelous) the wonderful Kirsty MacColl we lost some 24 years ago.”

Another paid tribute by saying: “23 years since Kirsty MacColl passed away today, a fabulous singer.”

A third added: “A wee thought this morning for Kirsty MacColl who died on this day in 2000. A true original..”

As well as releasing five studio albums, MacColl also contributed backing vocals for the likes of Billy Bragg, The Smiths, The Rolling Stones, Happy Mondays, Morrissey, Talking Heads, Simple Minds, Robert Plant and David Byrne.

MacColl is remembered by a plaque on a bench in London’s Soho Square, which reads: “One day I’ll be waiting there, no empty bench in Soho Square”; lyrics from her song ‘Soho Square’.

Header image via Getty 

This article originally appeared on 


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