Poly Styrene, pioneer punk rock legend and lead singer for the band X-Ray Spex has passed away after succumbing to breast cancer at age 53.
In February she announced that she had breast cancer, saying she was “determined to stay positive”. The news of her death broke on Tuesday after rumours started circulating coupled with condolances on her facebook page. Her UK spokesman confirmed the news on Tuesday morning.
Poly Styrene (real name Marianne Joan Elliott-Said) was a distinctive voice in the first wave of London punk bands in the seventies. Her representatives said in a statement. “A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, ‘Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!’ The influence of Poly and X-ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. Their landmark album ‘Germ Free Adolescents’ is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the centre of it was Poly Styrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.”
Poly Styrene released her new album Indigo Generation in March