The punk icon Poly Styrene, the former singer of X-Ray Spex, died yesterday after battling cancer. She released her third solo album, Generation Indigo, last month.
Poly Styrene, whose real name was Marion Elliot-Said, emerged on the punk scene in 1978 fronting the band X-Ray Spex. Their acclaimed debut album Germ Free Adolescents included the hits “The Day the World Turned Dayglo”, “Identity”, and “Germ Free Adolescents” (below).
In an interview with The Quietus last month Elliot-Said reflected upon her reluctance to be labelled as a sex symbol. “I was very conscious of being taken seriously,” she said. “I did cover myself up a lot with my clothes. I had a very quirky style but I wanted to be respected for my music, my lyrics specifically.”
She alluded to the permanency of her music, and her need to continue working: “This body is just a material body, like an outer shell. It will deteriorate and die, but we can leave something behind in our music or art.”