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Dancing on Ice’s Lady Leshurr helping to raise 8 orphans after sister died

Dancing On Ice star Lady Leshurr will have eight special fans cheering her on tonight – the orphaned children of her beloved late sister.

The kids, aged six to 16, have been willing her on from the sofa.

Leshurr, whose real name is Melesha Katrina O’Garro, was by sister Carmen’s side when she died from breast cancer in January 2019, aged 39. Tragically, Carmen’s husband also died.

Now their children are being cared for by Leshurr’s devoted mum Carol, who quit her job as a carer to bring them up.

Lady Leshurr and Brendyn Hatfield

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the rapper said: “My sister wanted a massive family, she always said that. She was a great mum. We were very close.”

Leshurr, 32, told how Carmen’s death was “stressful and sad” but the rapper was more than happy to use her music biz fortune to support the family – and buy her mother a new pad in Birmingham.

“My mum is an angel, she took them all on,” she said. “I bought my mum a house so there is more space for them.”

Last Sunday, the family excitedly gathered around the TV as Leshurr made Dancing On Ice history as the first woman to ever open a routine by rapping.

She beamed: “They were all watching me. They are very proud.

Dancing on Ice's Lady Leshurr helping to raise 8 orphans after sister died
She had a big send off

“The kids had a movie night when I skated and were apparently screaming at the TV.

“Before lockdown, I was going to Birmingham every weekend to try and help out, and when I was off work I’d come to Birmingham and take them to school. I felt like I had responsibility.

“They don’t have both of their parents and I want them to have a proper childhood.

“I want them to go places; I want them to see the world.

“Making them smile really makes me happy.”

Leshurr was mainly raised by her mum Carol, 60, who juggled three jobs to help support the star and her four siblings.

Dancing on Ice's Lady Leshurr helping to raise 8 orphans after sister died
The kids, aged six to 16, have been willing her on from the sofa

As a child, Leshurr would shut herself away in her bedroom to write poetry and song lyrics.

But when she was 22, she left home and moved to London in a bid to follow her dreams.

“I was sleeping on people’s couches and living out of bags and boxes until I got my own place in 2016,” she said. “It was a hard but pleasurable struggle.”

Leshurr credits her mum Carol for allowing her to believe that anything is possible.

She said: “She has been mother and father. And that has made me a hard, strong woman. I don’t take no for an answer.”

Leshurr shot to fame after a bidding war between 11 record companies. She even turned down a £1million contract because “it didn’t feel right”.

Leshurr is best known for her Queen’s Speech series of freestyle raps, which were hugely popular in 2016.

Dancing on Ice's Lady Leshurr helping to raise 8 orphans after sister died
Lady Leshurr with her sister

That year, she also won the MOBO Award for Best Female Act.

In 2019, she landed the award for Best Rap/Grime Act and in 2020, she won Best Solo Female at the Birmingham Music Awards.

Leshurr was thrilled to be awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.

And she is now on her own independent label, Unleshed Records. In last week’s Dancing On Ice, Leshurr – who is partnered with pro skater Brendyn Hatfield – found herself in the skate-off. Tonight, she will be aiming to wow the judges to avoid getting the boot from the programme.

Dancing on Ice's Lady Leshurr helping to raise 8 orphans after sister died
As a child, Leshurr would shut herself away in her bedroom

But she nearly didn’t make it to the live stages at all after hurting her knee. She explained: “I had to rest for two weeks but then I got back up and it’s been incredible.

“Sometimes I forget I am being filmed and I’m having too much fun, so I’ve got to stay focused.”

Whatever happens tonight, Leshurr is glad that she has done right by her late sister.

She added: “I always speak to
my sister and when I am doing something massive, like this show,
I feel her energy.

“I know I must have made her proud. That means everything.”

  • Dancing on Ice is on ITV at 6pm


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