Alexandra Burke broke down in tears as she recalled her mother Melissa Bell’s death and shared her regret over touring, knowing her mum was sick.
The former X Factor winner, 32, opened up on losing her mum and explained how she had died in her arms at hospital, within 10 minutes of Alexandra arriving to see her.
Soul II Soul singer Melissa died in 2017, following a nine-year battle with kidney failure.
Reflecting on the heartbreaking moment, Alexandra explained that she had continued touring with Sister Act when her mum fell ill – a decision she now ‘regrets deeply’.
On the last night of her show, she was driving home when she got a call urging her to head to the hospital to see mum Melissa.
‘On the last day of my show, I finished in Blackpool, I was driving home. I got a call, “Alex you need to get to the hospital now.” I divert the car,’ Alexandra recalled on the How To Fail podcast.
‘I get to the hospital and she passes in my arms within 10 minutes of me being there.’
The Hallelujah singer said that her mum got sick suddenly and suffered a stroke, while Alexandra still had around nine months left to go on her theatre tour.
She told her mum that she wanted to quit to spend time with her, but explained mum Melissa urged her not to pull out of the show and to continue with her working commitments and not let her fans down.
Recalling what her mum had said to her, Alexandra said: ‘She said, “It’s only nine months, just get the tour over and done with and then we’ll have time.”‘
Alexandra spent the few months performing with the stage manager watching over her phone and she would drive back and forth from the hospital in London – no matter where she was in the country – when her mum needed her.
‘If anything was happening with her and I had to leave the show, I’d drive, sleep on the hospital floor, see to my mum and then head back,’ she said.
‘I regret going on tour, I regret it so deeply because I had so much more time in my car and on the road than I did with my mum and that burns me,’ Alexandra admitted.
‘I should have gone with my gut and listened to myself and told my mum, “You’re the priority.” Instead I listened to her.’
She continued: ‘My mum, she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, I [did] what I could, I’d done my best… but putting work first that is now something I won’t do at times, when I know I need to give myself time – I’m not very good, but I’m learning – I will do that.’
‘I won’t hold it off until the next week because you just don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring,’ Alexandra said.
The former Strictly star has previously said that she feels her mum’s presence whenever she sings, having followed in her footsteps into the music industry.
Speaking a year on from mother Melissa’s death, Alexandra revealed: ‘I was singing and an ad-lib came out of my mouth and I basically stopped and said, “Jesus Christ, mum you are here”. It was an ad-lib she used to sing.
‘A lot of things I’m now doing vocally, little ad-libs and tricks, and even the tone is my mum. It is her. I can feel it when she is around me.’
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