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  1. Culture
26 April 2011

Poly Styrene, 1957-2011

The former X-Ray Spex singer has died aged 53.

By Clare Conway

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).

 

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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.”

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