“She was a celebrity and she loved it”: Wellingborough’s ‘Karaoke Karen’ dies aged 55

Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper

Tributes have been paid to Wellingborough celebrity ‘Karaoke Karen’, who has died at the age of 55.

The local star, real name Karen Cooper, was well-known for her singing and dancing outside the Swansgate Shopping Centre in the town.

The Wellingborough woman, who had recently been at a care home in Northampton, passed away peacefully on Friday (June 3) after fighting illnesses.

Her brother Colin says she was a special woman who loved that she was famous.

He said: “Karen suffered brain damage aged around three and had various illnesses but she fought hard.

“She’s been dancing away for years. She was a celebrity and she loved it.

“People used to ask her to sing in the clubs and dance at their birthday parties.

“All she wanted to do was make people smile and she did that.”

Mr Cooper is now hoping to raise money for mental health charities after the battles his sister faced.

He added: “In the early days people used to take the mickey but they didn’t know about her health.

“If anybody could donate to any charities which support young adults with mental health issues, that would be great.

“The staff at both Kettering and Northampton general hospitals have been fantastic.

“The NHS often get slated but they have been brilliant, from the nurses to the cleaners.”

Messages of support and memories have flooded social media sites, with hundreds calling for a permanent tribute to Karen in the town.

Mr Cooper says he is overwhelmed by the love shown for his sister.

He said: “Lots of people are talking about doing something for her and I’m talking to people about it but nothing is guaranteed.

“I can’t believe the reaction news of her passing has got, it’s overwhelming and some of the messages have been fantastic.

“We’re giving her one last send-off before her funeral on Friday, June 17, with a tour of the town at 1pm from Jacksons Lane.

“She was a celebrity and it will be good to give her the send-off she deserves.”