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  • Punk Pioneer Poly Styrene Passes Away

    Wed, 27 Apr 2011 11:20:54

    Punk Pioneer Poly Styrene Passes Away - She died April 25th after a battle with cancer

    Poly Styrene Videos

    • Poly Styrene - Virtual Boyfriend (Official Video)
    • Poly Styrene - "Generation Indigo" Track By Track Interview

    more poly styrene videos »

    Poly Styrene, born Marianne Elliot-Said on June 3rd, 1957, was a punk rock pioneer. Sadly, she passed away due to cancer on Monday, April 25th, losing her earthly battle but winning a bigger, more spiritual one.

    Poly Styrene, 53, was a punk amongst punks. A groundbreaking presence that left an unrepeatable mark on the musical landscape, she made history the moment she uttered, "Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think oh bondage up yours!" The influence of Poly and X-Ray Spex has been felt far and wide ever since. The seminal album Germ Free Adolescents is a landmark work and a primary influence on Britpop and Riot Grrrl. At the center of it was Poly Styrene, a bi-racial feminist punk with the perfect voice to soundtrack rebellion. Poly never sacrificed the intelligence or the fun in her music and style. Her trademark braces and dayglo clothes were a playful rejection of the status quo and of conformity and complacency. She dissected gender politics, consumer culture, and the obsessions of modern life in a way that made us all want sing along with her.

    At the core of Poly's work from Germ Free Adolescents through Generation Indigo, is a revolutionary with a genuine love for this world and the people and things in it. Her indomitable heart is all over the new material from her championing of cruelty-free products, and as she put it, "being conscious of the slaughterhouse culture" ("I Luv Ur Sneakers") to giving voice to marginalized poor people worldwide ("No Rockefeller") to tackling racism ("Colour Blind.") Poly Styrene never stopped exciting us with her incisive world-view, amazing wit and her adventurous sound. It is impossible to imagine what modern music would be like without her incalculable contributions but it's probably not worth imagining a world that never had Poly Styrene in it.

    R.I.P., Poly Styrene.

    Have you checked out Poly Styrene's body of work yet? If not, you should! Celebrate her legacy.

    —Amy Sciarretto
    04.27.11




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    Tags: Poly Styrene, X-Ray Spex

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