X Factor’s Alexandra Burke’s heartfelt tribute to tragic Highbury teen
15:40 09 August 2012
Former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke cancelled rehearsals for a major Hyde Park concert to sing at a tragic teenager’s funeral.
The Islington-born singer dropped everything so she could be at Stace Kennedy’s funeral to sing a rendition of Hallelujah, her 2008 number one.
Mr Kennedy, of Highbury Quadrant, Highbury, suffered from liver disease and died on July 16, a few weeks after his 19th birthday.
The avid Arsenal fan was a friend of Burke’s younger brother Aaron, 19, who said: “Alex called off rehearsals to come down and sing for him.
“She knew him because we went to Holloway School together and used to play in the same football team. I think the family were pleased to have her sing there and it was a very moving day.”
He added: “Stace was a really great guy and it was a big shock when he died. He was just an amazing guy and it hurts for that to happen to him. It was a big funeral, there were about 150 people there, and it showed how well loved he was. He will be forever missed by many.”
Alexandra said: “It was an honour to sing for Stace at his send-off. Even though I didn’t know him that well, I knew he was great friends with my younger brother Aaron and I just had to be there. I send my condolences and best wishes to his family and friends.”
Mr Kennedy’s funeral was held at St Marylebone Crematorium last Tuesday. Two days later Ms Burke, who grew up off Caledonian Road, performed in Hyde Park as part of BT London Live, a series of free concerts hosted to celebrate the Olympics.
On a webpage memorial to Mr Kennedy, a relative wrote: “What a wonderful send-off you had, there were loads of people paying their respects. What an honour to have Alexandra Burke there in person, singing a beautiful version of Hallelujah.”