Published Apr 26, 2011Following a recent battle with breast cancer, punk icon Poly Styrene has died. The former X-Ray Spex singer passed away last night (April 25), with a statement saying, "We can confirm that the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter, won her battle on Monday evening to go to higher places." She was 53.
Born Marianne Elliott-Said in 1957 in the London suburb of Bromley, she only released one album with the X-Ray Spex, 1978's Germ Free Adolescents, as well as spawned the classic 1977 punk anthem "Oh Bondage Up Yours!"
Following X-Ray Spex's quick demise, Styrene went on to pursue a solo career, releasing the album Translucence in 1980 and, most recently, Generation Indigo just last month on Future Noise Music. However, she spent much of her life away from the music industry and joined the Hare Krishna movement, leading her to move to a Krishna temple with her daughter.
Fellow political punk songwriter Billy Bragg is one of many who is already paying tribute to the fallen Styrene, saying, "Punk without Poly Styrene and the X-Ray Spex wouldn't have been the same."
Styrene is survived by her daughter, Celeste Bell-Dos Santos, who leads the band Debutant Disco.