X Factor’s Alexandra Burke’s heartfelt tribute to tragic Highbury teen
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.”
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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.”