Musical tributes from the dance music community have poured in following the news that Diane Charlemagne passed away from lung cancer. The Manchester-born singer grew up in Moss Side and became part of the fabric of the R’n’B era and joined the band 52nd Street. Signed by New Order‘s Factory Records managed by Tony Wilson’s (of Hacienda) ex-wife who’s urban US sound was a big hit when they released Tell Me How It Feels in 1985.

Charlemagne moved on to work with Soul II Soul members and joined The Urban Cookie Collective and went on to have a hit with track The Key The Secret in 1993. The following year she sang lead vocals on the cult smash Inner City Life by Goldie from the Timeless album. The monumental track changed the landscape of not only its own genre but all the other dance music genres around it. The vocals provided  by Diane lent versatility and softness to the hard-edged underground sound.

Gold tweeted: “I can’t thank you enough for what you contributed and we will carry on your legacy.”
“Just come out of #bikram #mourning… and finding a place of peace inside myself of how much light that woman bought to my music.” He dedicated his Timeless ~ Sine Tempore concerts at the  Southbank Festival to her in a speech in the summer.

Diane_renightShe continued her musical journey progressing in the dance scene moving into house and garage. She worked and wrote with K-Klass, Satoshi Tomiie, Mutiny UK, Santos and Judge Jules. In 2001 she went on tour with MOBY for nearly three years.

Blue Soap Music PR posted a statement on Wednesday evening confirming the sad news. They said: “We’re very sad to announce that Diane Charlemagne lost her brave battle with cancer today.” The last track she recorded, It’s In Your Eyes, featuring Andy Rourke and Simon Wolstencroft, will be released on 20th November and all proceeds from the sale of the track will be donated to her family.

Breaking News | Voice Of Inner City Life Diane Charlemagne Dies

Sandra Swaybe-Barrett