06/17/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
British singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl, 41, whose most recent album was this year's "Tropical Brainstorm," has been killed in a boating accident, her manager announced yesterday. He added that he believed that she was swimming off the coast of Mexico in a spot reserved for bathers when a passing speedboat hit her. MacColl, the daughter of folk singer Ewan MacColl (who wrote "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") and dancer Jean Newlove, first made a name for herself in 1981 with the single "There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop (Swears He's Elvis)." Her biggest hit was with the Pogues in 1987, the Christmas-inspired "Fairytale in New York." MacColl also collaborated with several other bands during her two-decade career, including the Rolling Stones, the Smiths and Talking Heads. Married to producer Steve Lillywhite since 1984, she is also survived by two sons, Jamie and Louis.