Marc Almond's condition now stable after motorcycle crash

The condition of the Soft Cell singer Marc Almond, critically injured in a motorcycle crash in London on Sunday, stabilised yesterday, a hospital spokesman said.

The 48-year-old suffered head injuries when the Suzuki bike he was riding pillion on collided with a car. Almond and the rider, who also suffered severe injuries, are in The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Yesterday Almond, who sold 10 million records with Soft Cell and went on to have a successful solo career, was sent a message of support from his one-time recording partner Gene Pitney. Pitney and Almond collaborated on the 1990 number one "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart". Paying tribute to the singer's "tremendous talent" yesterday, Pitney said the news that his condition has stabilised was "terrific" and he hoped he would be fit enough to go back to work soon.

"I just want you to get out of there and get back to what you do great," he said. "You are a tremendous talent. And stay off motorcycles," his statement to Independent Radio News said.

A hospital spokesman said: "Barts and The London NHS Trust can confirm that Marc Almond is a patient at The Royal London Hospital and is in a stable condition. His family request that his and their privacy is respected at this time."

"Tainted Love", a cover of Gloria Jones's soul classic, was the biggest-selling UK single of 1981 and the 10th biggest seller ever in the US at the time. Almond formed the band in 1980 in Leeds along with synthesiser player David Ball. Other hits for the band included "Torch", "Bedsitter" and "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye".

After the split, Almond went on to have single successes with covers of Scott Walker's "Jacky", David McWilliams' "Days Of Pearly Spencer" and Gene Pitney's "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart". Almond and Ball reformed in 2001 to play a gig launching Ocean, a new venue in Hackney, east London.

In 2002, the duo released an album, Cruelty Without Beauty, which was followed by a tour of Britain, Europe and America. "The Night", a single taken from the album, was a top-40 hit and saw Soft Cell perform together on Top Of The Pops for the first time since the 1980s.

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