Ari Up (born Arianna Forster), the lead singer of The Slits, passed away yesterday. She was 48.
Stepfather John Lydon (AKA: Johnny Rotten) wrote on his website that she succumbed to “a serious illness.” A message on the site read, “John [Lydon] and Nora [Forster] have asked us to let everyone know that Nora’s daughter Arianna — aka Ari-Up — died today (October 20) after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed. Everyone at JohnLydon.com and PiLofficial.com would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to John, Nora and family. Rest in Peace.”
Ari Up founded the iconic (mostly-)all-girl punk group when she was just 14 years old in 1976. In their relatively brief time together as a band, they recorded two albums — 1979’s Cut and 1981’s Return of the Giant Slits — and paved the way for a larger female presence in punk rock.
Watch Ari Up leading The Slits on “Typical Girls” below: