Published Oct 22, 2010While initial reports of Slits vocalist Ari Up's death last Wednesday (October 20) indicated that she had died of a "serious illness," bandmate Tessa Pollitt has confirmed that her friend died battling cancer.
In an interview with NME the bassist shed some light on Up's health issues, but explained that most people didn't realize how unhealthy the singer was.
"Ari didn't want me or the rest of the group to tell anyone that she was ill," Pollitt said. "We didn't realize how ill she was. Out of respect for the family I don't really want to talk about it. It was cancer, that's all I'll say."
Pollitt continued on with a brief but touching tribute to her fallen friend, exclaiming that punk singer Up was "a total rebellious soul. Such a compassionate person, the original wild child if you will. And a musical genius not really given the recognition in her lifetime."
While we also heard from her step-father, former Sex Pistol John Lydon, other musicians have spoken out about Up's passing.
Former Smiths and current Cribs guitarist Johnny Marr posted a tweet following Up's death that praised a recent performance.
"Respect to Ari Up. The Slits played with The Cribs last year and she was great," Marr wrote.
A blog post from Kate Nash also paid tribute to the frontwoman by explaining that not only was the Slits' 1979 debut Cut a major influence, but that the group were role models too.
"Because of that album, I developed my musical tastes, bought records and learnt about feminism and politics and how important the link between music and those issues are," Nash wrote. "I also felt confidence as a teenage girl, I felt liberated and empowered and that I could be smart, musical and creative and that maybe somehow I could make a difference in the world too."