London-born former punk star Poly Styrene – who fronted X-Ray Spex – has died after a battle with cancer.
The singer, whose real name was Marianne Elliot Said, released a new album, Generation Indigo, only last month.
Styrene – who notably appeared on TV and in publicity shots with braces on her teeth – scored hits with tracks such as Germ Free Adolescents and Oh Bondage Up Yours.
The singer died on Monday at the age of 53. A statement announcing her death said: “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 revealed she was battling breast cancer earlier this year in an interview about her relationship with daughter Celeste, timed to promote her new album.
Styrene spent her final days in a hospice in St Leonards-On-Sea, East Sussex. Her breast cancer had spread to her spine and lungs before it was diagnosed.
Styrene disappeared from the spotlight for many years after becoming a Hare Krishna devotee in 1983, although she had made occasional returns to performance.
Born in Bromley, south-east London, which became a crucible for many of punk’s movers and shakers, the half-Somali star ran away from home when she was 15 to hitch between music festivals.
In her recent 6 Music interview she had spoken optimistically about her battle with the disease. “I’m doing everything I can to fight it. I’m taking herbal medicines, and I’m also taking homeopathy and conventional medicines. So I’m attacking it from all angles. Touch wood, I’ll make it.”