Strictly Come Dancing has been hit by tragedy before the show has even started. X Factor singer Alexandra Burke has announced the death of her mother Melissa Bell. Melissa was 53 and was the former lead singer of R&B band Soul II Soul.
Alexandra said: “It is with the heaviest and saddest of hearts that the family inform you our beautiful, funny and loving mum, Melissa Bell has passed away. Our beautiful mother gained her wings on Monday 28th August, a day that has changed out lives forever.
“We will never forget her unconditional love, support, charisma, strength and courage throughout her life. We are eternally proud and thankful to call her our mummy. We would be grateful if you could respect our privacy at this difficult time. Thank you. The Burke Family.” Alexandra had asked fans to pray for her mum at the end of 2016, telling them she had been struggling with her health.