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Diane Charlemagne

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Diane Charlemagne
Born(1964-02-22)22 February 1964
Manchester, England
Died28 October 2015(2015-10-28) (aged 51)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1984−2015

Diane Charlemagne (22 February 1964 – 28 October 2015)[1] was a British jazz, soul, funk and electronic dance music singer and songwriter.



Charlemagne was lead singer with 1980s funk band 52nd Street, having replaced previous lead vocalist Beverley McDonald in 1984. In 1990, 52nd Street re-emerged as Cool Down Zone, with Charlemagne providing vocals as well as having writing credits on all 10 songs on their album New Direction. Later she was lead singer with Urban Cookie Collective, who had two UK Top 10 hits in the 1990s.[1]

Charlemagne provided the vocals for Goldie's "Inner City Life",[2] and performed vocals for Moby for many of his live shows.[1]

In 2006, she collaborated with Scape on the house track and dance chart hit Be My Friend (as D Empress). 2007, she collaborated with High Contrast on his track "If We Ever" for the album Tough Guys Don't Dance. The following year she worked with D:Ream, who had recently reformed, and in 2011, she collaborated with Aquasky on their dubstep track "Take Me There". In 2012, she collaborated with Netsky on his track "Wanna Die For You" for the album 2, and worked with S.P.Y on his drum and bass track "Hammer in My Heart" for the album What the Future Holds.

In 2014, she again collaborated with S.P.Y on the tracks "Dusty Fingers" and "Back To Basics" for the album Back To Basics Chapter One and then later on "Lost Orbit" and "Frozen" for the album Back To Basics Chapter Two. She also worked with London Elektricity and S.P.Y on the track "I Am Somebody" for the Street Child World Cup.

Towards the end of 2014 she started collaborating with London disco artists The Memory Notes. She sang on the single "Follow the Sun" and then later on the still to be officially released "Say There's a Heaven".

In 2015, she provided the backing vocals for Ricky Valance's single "Welcome Home" in aid to raise money for various RAF charities.

After being diagnosed with kidney cancer the previous year, Charlemagne died of the disease on 28 October 2015, aged 51.[1][3][4]



BBC Entertainment News in 'Urban Cookie singer Diane Charlemagne dies at 51'[5] cited tweets from:

  • Goldie:"I can't thank you enough for what you contributed and we will carry on your legacy." and "Just come out of #bikram #mourning... and finding a place of peace inside myself of how much light that woman bought [sic] to my music."
  • Moby: "So sad to hear about #dianecharlemagne passing. We worked together for years, and she was one of the most remarkable singers on the planet."
  • High Contrast: "Very sad to hear of Diane Charlemagne's passing, she'll always be the voice of dnb to me, so privileged to have known and worked with her x."
  • singer Beverley Knight:"Goldie's Inner City Life changed the direction of Drum&Bass due to #dianecharlemagne's haunting soul vocal. RIP Angel. Xxx"




with 52nd Street
  • Children of the Night (1986)
  • Something's Going On (1987)

Singles and EPs

with 52nd Street
  • "Can't Afford" (1984)
  • "Tell Me How It Feels" (1985)
  • "Last Chance" (1985)
  • "I Can't Let You Go" (1986)
  • "I'll Return" (1987)
  • "Are You Receiving Me" (1988)
  • "I Will Wait for You" (1988)
  • "Superhuman" (2018)
with Cool Down Zone
  • "Heaven Knows" (1990)
with Urban Cookie Collective
with Goldie
with Satoshi Tomiie
  • "Come to Me" (1998)
  • "Sincerity (Part 1&2)" (1999)
  • "Inspired" (2000)
with Master & Hess (Mobin Master & Hess Barber)
  • "Troubled Girl" (2003)
with Calibre
  • "Bullets" (2005)
with Cyantific
  • "Don't Follow" (2005)
with Scape
  • "Be My Friend" (as D Empress) (2006)
with 2020 Soundsystem and Pat Fulgoni
  • "Your Love" (2006)
with High Contrast
  • "If We Ever" (2007)
with Blame
  • "Keep The Sunshine" (2008)
with B-complex
  • "Rolling with the Punches" (2010)
with S.P.Y
  • "Hammer in my Heart" (2012)
with Netsky
  • "Wanna Die for You" (2012) on 2
with Street Child World Cup feat. London Elektricity and S.P.Y
  • "I Am Somebody" (2014)
with Taxman
  • "Rebirth" (2014)
with The Memory Notes
  • "Follow the Sun" (2014)


  1. ^ a b c d Salewicz, Chris (30 October 2015). "Diane Charlemagne: Vocalist who rose to fame with Urban Cookie Collective before helping Goldie to change the face of drum'n'bass". The Independent. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. p. 2405. ISBN 9780857125958. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ Coultate, Aaron. "RIP Diane Charlemagne". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Legendary vocalist Diane Charlemagne has passed away". Mixmag. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Urban Cookie singer Diane Charlemagne dies at 51". BBC News. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2021.