Kirsty MacColl, daughter of folk singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl
, began her own musical career while still in her teens, singing in a band called the Addix, and eventually signed to the legendary Stiff Records.
Her first single, the modern girl group gem, "They Don't Know," was released in 1979. Though it failed in the charts, it was later a major hit for Tracey Ullman
. Kirsty MacColl switched to Polydor in the '80s and landed a U.K. Top 40 hit with the novelty song "There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop (Swears He's Elvis)." She followed the single with her first LP, Desperate Character, in 1981. In 1984, she married producer Steve Lillywhite
and put her solo career on hold, raising their two children and working as a backup singer. MacColl returned in 1989 with a more mature effort, Kite, which reached the U.K. Top 40. Two more albums, Electric Landlady (1991) and Titanic Days (1993), displayed great talent and diversity and, above all, good pop sensibilities. On December 18, 2000, MacColl was killed by a speedboat while swimming off of the coast of Mexico. Less than six months later, her final album, Tropical Brainstorm, was released on Instinct. ~ Chris Woodstra, Rovi