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April 29, 2011

Poly Styrene R.I.P, 1957-2011

“She was a feminist and “misfit superstar” who paved the way for everyone from Kim Gordon to Karen O. Beth Ditto credits her with “shaping my identity”. But for generations of followers, the unassuming singer was more than an icon: she was someone who felt like one of us, and who will be mourned like an absent friend.”

Dave Simpson

“Everyone always accepted how wonderful X-Ray Spex were, how inspirational their non-conformist singer Poly Styrene was. The way their songs so presciently captured the alienation and sterility of modern-day society. That abrasive saxophone and the repetitive guitar lines. The sardonic and oddly betrayed and wonderfully articulated lyrics. The way ‘I Am A Cliche’ didn’t, but should have, become the theme song for every punk that followed. The gleeful venom Poly Styrene used to spit out lines about her pet rat. […] Poly Styrene was the fucking coolest singer ever. That was so much a given, it feels weird to offer any reasons even now. She had a rasp. She had a translucent honesty. Without a doubt, the reason I fell for Bikini Kill was because Kathleen Hanna also clearly loved her with a passion.”

Everett True

“Poly lit the way for me as a female singer who wanted to sing about ideas. She taught me, by example, that fame was less the goal than something to back away from when it started to invade your core. Her lyrics influenced EVERYONE I KNOW WHO MAKES MUSIC.”

Kathleen Hanna

Poly Styrene, best known as the frontwoman with 1970’s punk group X-Ray Spex  passed away yesterday on Monday 25 April after long treatment of breast cancer. She was 53.

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