Published Apr 22, 2013Chrissy Amphlett, the Australian singer best known as the singer of the Divinyls, died this weekend in New York after losing her battle with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. She was 53.
Amphlett co-founded the Divinyls in the early 1980s, and the band remained together for over a decade. They are most widely remembered for their 1991 hit single "I Touch Myself." They split in the 1990s before briefly reuniting a decade later. Listen to "I Touch Myself" at the bottom of the page.
The singer, who was also an actress, lived in New York with her husband Charley Drayton, who played drums with the Divinyls. She battled health problems in recent years, and posted the following message on her Facebook page in March of 2012:
Unfortunately the last 18 months have been a real challenge for me having breast cancer and MS and all the new places that will take you.You become sadly a patient in a world of waiting rooms,waiting sometimes hours for a result or an appointment and you spend a lot time in cold machines like MRI,CT machines,hospital beds,on your knees praying for miracles,operating rooms,tests after tests,looking at healthy people skip down the street like you once did and you took it all for granted and now wish you could do that.
I have not stopped singing throughout all this in my dreams and to be once again performing and doing what I love to do.I have been writing the occassional song with a wonderful collaborator Kraig Jarret and two weeks ago we performed some of those songs in NYC in the West Village.My illnesses have really exhausted this little body of mine that I have thrown from one end of a stage to another and performed thousands of shows thats sadly some of you missed.With that said I am getting stronger but there is still some fine tuning and work to be done on myself.It's a different self but my voice is strong and not affected by the MS as some reviewers have cruelly reported.I can walk altho sometimes I wobble but try to wobble with the beat.I look after myself and my husband has been through this with me every part of the way and I cannot imagine what I would have done without him and his kindness.I did something right.My lttle dog Holiday lays on the end of the bed when I am not feeling great and doesn't leave my side.I don't reach out to people and talk about what I go through as we are all going through something and for someone who once was fancy free I have all of this in my life "So I Know".I am grateful to have the knowledge that all of this has shown me and I feel privledged that I am strong enough to "know" and share that it's really alright.I will sing again,I will perform again but this time "I know" I hope you understand what I mean and if you don't you will one day and be grateful.Yes Lawrence What A Life and this is Life.We must never be afraid.
Following her passing, Drayton released the following statement:
Our beloved Chrissy peacefully passed this afternoon.
Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity. She passed gently, in her sleep, surrounded by close friends and family, including husband of fourteen years, musician Charley Drayton; her sister, Leigh; nephew, Matt; and cousin Patricia Amphlett ("Little Pattie").
Chrissy's light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity; she always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women.
Best remembered as the lead singer of the ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Divinyls; last month she was named one of Australia's top ten singers of all time. Chrissy expressed hope that her worldwide hit "I Touch Myself" would be utilized to remind all women to perform annual breast examinations.
Chrissy was a true pioneer and a treasure to all whose lives her music and spirit touched.