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Punk Trailblazer Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex Dies at 53

Punk Trailblazer Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex Dies at 53

Poly Styrene, punk icon and leading lady of the 70’s British punk band X-Ray Spex, died Tuesday at age 53 from an advanced form of breast cancer. Styrene, born Marian Joan Elliott-Said, rose to stardom when X-Ray Spex released their debut single “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” in 1977. Styrene’s raging yells and shrieks in that liberating anthem put her on the punk map and set the stage for “riot grrls” Kathleen Hanna and Corin Tucker of the 90’s. Styrene’s debut was a defining moment for women in punk rock.

Poly Styrene, punk icon and leading lady of the 70’s British punk band X-Ray Spex, died Tuesday at age 53 from an advanced form of breast cancer, according to The Guardian.

Styrene, born Marian Joan Elliott-Said, rose to stardom when X-Ray Spex released their debut single “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” in 1977. Styrene’s raging yells and shrieks in that liberating anthem put her on the punk map and set the stage for “riot grrls” Kathleen Hanna and Corin Tucker of the 90’s. Styrene’s debut was a defining moment for women in punk rock.

She was diagnosed earlier this year with breast cancer, which had already made its way to her lungs and spine. Styrene was receiving treatment, but managed to continue her promotional tour for her latest solo album, Generation Indigo.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said in a recent interview with the Guardian.

Styrene’s official twitter feed reads, “…the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter, won her battle on Monday evening to go to higher places. PSTeam”

She is survived by her daughter, Celeste Bell-Dos Santos.

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