U.K. Singer-Songwriter Faye Fantarrow Dies at 21 of Rare Brain Tumor

Faye Fantarrow, a U.K. singer-songwriter whose debut came out earlier this year, has died at age 21, her publicist confirmed. The rising neo-soul talent died on Aug. 26, and her death was first announced on social media on Aug. 31 by her mother, Pam.

Fantarrow previously beat leukemia twice since being first diagnosed at eight years old. Nearly a year ago, doctors discovered a rare Glioma tumor in her brain. The release date of her debut EP, AWOL, was moved up to an earlier date (Feb. 10) to accommodate the grim prognosis; around the time of its release, Billboard hailed her distinctive vocal phrasing and the pulsing rhythm of the EP’s title track. AWOL came out on Dave Stewart’s Bay Street Records; following her passing, the Eurythmics member shared how “devastated” Fantarrow’s death left him in a statement.

“I can’t put into words how devastated I was when, just after spending an amazing creative time with Faye last summer making her debut album, Faye found out she had this very aggressive brain tumor,” Stewart said. “Faye was a joy to be around, full of fun, laughter and sharp as a razor — a true artist in every sense. Being with her and watching her at work is a diamond stuck in my head, moments I will never forget. I’m lucky to have met Faye and her Mum Pam, two humans together battling against all odds for Faye’s survival. It has been both traumatic and beautiful to witness their strength and dignity and I am so sorry the world only got to witness Faye’s genius for such a short time. She is one of the true greats, a northern girl on fire with her lyrics and melodies. I loved her deeply.”

“There is a gaping void in our lives that can never be filled, our beautiful, compassionate, intelligent and immensely talented girl has gone,” her mother Pam wrote in a social media post. “Faye fought with a strength and bravery that kept her with those she so desperately loved and who loved her beyond compare.”

Prior to her death, Fantarrow raised £235,000 (close to $300,000 USD) on Justgiving for an experimental treatment in California. She visited the U.S. for the first treatment but proved too sick for follow-ups. The extra money from the Justgiving campaign was “donated to a charity to fund further life-saving research in Faye’s memory,” per reps.

You can listen to her debut EP below.

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