Kirsty MacColl

Singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl died Dec. 18 in a boating accident in Mexico. She was 41.

The U.K.-born MacColl was best known for the 1987 Christmas hit “Fairytale of New York,” a duet with Shane McGowan and the Pogues.

MacColl began her musical career at age 19 with Stiff Records, and enjoyed chart success with “There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop (Swears He’s Elvis)” and a cover of Billy Bragg’s “A New England.”

Her debut single, “They Don’t Know,” which failed to make an impact, was later a hit for actress-comedienne Tracey Ullman.

MacColl released seven albums over her career, the last 1999’s Latin American-influenced “Tropical Brainstorm.” She had just completed a radio series for the BBC on Cuban music.

MacColl is survived by two sons from her marriage to record producer Steve Lillywhite, which ended in 1997.

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