Last night, influential punk rocker and X-Ray Spex vocalist Poly Styrene died after losing her fight against breast cancer. “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,” someone posted on her Twitter account.
Styrene, born Marianne Elliot Said, passed away at age 53 on the eve of her latest solo album’s release. She was diagnosed back in February, but by that point the disease had already spread to her spine and lungs.
The heralded London native was best known for her work with X-Ray Spex — an influential British punk group that released their only record, Germ Free Adolescents, in 1978. In 1981, she also released her first solo album Translucence before leaving behind recorded music to become a Hare Krishna.
Said’s latest solo record Generation Indigo was released today. NPR posted a review of the album, written by famed music critic Robert Christgau, which now coincidentally doubles as a eulogy of sorts.
Watch Poly Styrene performing with X-Ray Spex below: