Hyperpop Pioneer SOPHIE Dead at 34

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Hyperpop Pioneer SOPHIE Dead at 34

Influential, hyperpop-pioneering artist and producer SOPHIE has died after suffering a fatal accident, according to Transgressive Records and Future Classic. The labels announced early Saturday that SOPHIE “had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell.” The musician died at approximately 4 a.m. in Athens, Greece, a representative confirmed to Pitchfork. SOPHIE was only 34 years old.

“Tragically our beautiful Sophie passed away this morning after a terrible accident,” the full statement from Transgressive and Future Classic reads. “True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell. She will always be here with us. The family thank everyone for their love and support and request privacy at this devastating time.”

Born on Sept. 17, 1986, in Glasgow, Scotland, Sophie Xeon began releasing music as SOPHIE in 2013, with the artist’s debut compilation arriving in 2015. Titled Product, it collected SOPHIE’s breakout singles, including “BIPP,” “LEMONADE” and “HARD,” earning the then-mysterious musician early acclaim for the compilation’s innovative, avant-garde take on pop music.

In October 2017, SOPHIE released single “It’s Okay to Cry” (which, today, is particularly apropos), the first release to feature the artist’s own image and vocals. The song would later appear as the opening track on Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, SOPHIE’s critically beloved debut album, released in June 2018. The album would earn its creator a Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy nomination.

It was around the time of Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ release that SOPHIE came out as a trans woman, telling PAPER, “An embrace of the essential idea of transness changes everything because it means there’s no longer an expectation based on the body you were born into, or how your life should play out and how it should end. Traditional family models and structures of control disappear.”

SOPHIE had just shared new music this past week: an Autechre remix of “BIPP” backed with “UNISIL,” a previously unreleased track from the PRODUCT sessions. Transgressive’s artist page notes that SOPHIE had forthcoming collaborations in the works with Lady Gaga and Bibi Bourelly as well.

In addition to finding success as a solo artist, SOPHIE was a sought-after producer who shaped the way much of pop music now sounds, working with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Charli XCX, Vince Staples, Kim Petras and Cashmere Cat. SOPHIE’s influence on rising artists like Rina Sawayama and glaive is clear.

Sawayama was one of many artists who took to social media Saturday to share heartfelt remembrances of SOPHIE:

Revisit a handful of SOPHIE’s most beloved songs below, and see what the artist saw here.

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