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Lady Carolle Black ‘Mother To The Stars’ passes away

UPLIFTING: Lady Carolle Black had a passion for unearthing talented people

LADY CAROLLE Black, a popular entertainment personality who made her name unearthing young talent in the music industry, has passed away in London at the age of 76.

She had been ailing for some time, but her health took a turn for the worst in early January and she was admitted to hospital where she died on January 30.

Lady Carolle, as she was affectionately known, had an illustrious career in the entertainment industry spanning over 40 years, both as an agent and a manager to many solo artists and bands.

She helped launched the careers of UK stars such as pop sensation Gabriel and X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, while on the international stage, she worked with the likes of The Drifters, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder when they toured the UK.

She had also worked closely with singers Karen Wheeler and Melissa Bell of Soul II Soul fame and Carl Douglas, who recorded the popular, hit Everybody Loves Kung Fu Fighting.

Lady Carolle was popularly referred to as the “Mother To The Stars”, a title which was used as an acronym for her entertainment management company MTTS that gave many young artists the platform to launch successful careers. She was highly regarded as a consummate professional possessing a wealth of knowledge about the music and entertainment industry.

'MOTHER TO THE STARS': Lady Carolle Black doing compere duties at Moonlighting night club in London’s west End in the 1990s

In a previously published interview, Lady Carolle once spoke fondly about her love and passion for talented people. “I have a knack for spotting unique talent,” she said. This was proven right as she managed Alexandra Burke, daughter of Melissa Bell, for 10 years until she was age 20 before she found success on the X Factor.

But it was during the 1990s that Lady Carolle really made her mark on the UK entertainment scene when she was the lead compere at the popular West End nightclub Moonlighting on Greek Street in Soho where she hosted the nightly talent shows for both signed and unsigned artists, including Gabriel and Tahira Jumah.

Moonlighting was also the place where all the international music and sports stars would make an appearance when they came into town. Lady Carolle and her co-compere, Count Prince Miller, who preceded her last August, would be the hosts introducing the nightly entertainment package which included the Mr and Miss Moonlighting competition and talent contests.

In her later years, Lady Carolle suffered various ill-healths, including the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis, and she used her entertainment connections to host charity events which brought awareness to the condition.

At one such event she organised at Shaka Zulu in Camden in December 2011, her charity concert and auction night brought out a host of stars, including the Drifters, Kele Le Roc, P.P Arnold and Patrick Alan, all of whom performed free of charge to raise money and bring some awareness to the effects of the disease.

SPOTLIGHT: Lady Carolle welcoming some of the stars who visited Moonlighting club in the 90s including English cricketer Norman Cowans (left)

Born in 1943 in Kingston, Jamaica, Lady Carolle moved to England aged eight years old and started her working life as a secretary before she discovered her love for the music and entertainment industry. She had two marriages, first to Lawrence Pete Collington, a union which produced her son Miles, while her second marriage was to well-known nightclub DJ, Al Needles.

In paying tribute to his mother, son Miles Collington said: “My mother touched a lot of people as she had a very uplifting spirit. She would take on acts that were unknown and guided them to realise their dream. She really enjoyed passing on her knowledge to the younger generation and was actually in the middle of writing a biography of her journey in the entertainment industry.”

Funeral arrangements for Lady Carolle Black will be announced later.

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