Iconic Australian musician and female icon Chrissy Amphlett, influential singer of the Divinyls, has died age 53.
As ABC News reports, she passed away surrounded by family and friends at her home in New York after losing a long-running battle with cancer and other health afflictions.
Born Christine Joy Amphlett in Geelong, Victoria and raised in Australia, the singer had been living in New York with her husband and bandmate, former Divinyls drummer Charley Drayton, for the last few years.
In 2010, Amphlett revealed that she had breast cancer but announced that she was in remission come early 2011. The sad news coming just a few years revealing that she had battled against multiple sclerosis as early as 2007.
In a Facebook post on March 14th last year, the iconic singer shared some information about her health struggles, writing:
“Unfortunately the last 18 months have been a real challenge for me having breast cancer and MS and all the new places that will take you,” she wrote.
“You become sadly a patient in a world of waiting rooms, waiting sometimes hours for a result or an appointment and you spend a lot time in cold machines like MRI, CT machines, hospital beds ,on your knees praying for miracles, operating rooms, tests after tests, looking at healthy people skip down the street like you once did and you took it all for granted and now wish you could do that.” “I have not stopped singing throughout all this in my dreams and to be once again performing and doing what I love to do” – Chrissy Amphlett
“I have not stopped singing throughout all this in my dreams and to be once again performing and doing what I love to do,” she added.
Chrissy Amphlett recently charted in the Top 10 Greatest Australian Singers of All Time, landing the #9 position in the peer-voted poll, ranking alongside the upper echelons of Australia’s most iconic singers, including John Farnham, Bon Scott, Renee Geyer, and Michael Hutchence.
The Divinyls first rose to fame after their formation in 1980 chiefly thanks to Chrissy Amphlett’s captivating performances, including her wild antics on-stage during gigs and her provocative, smouldering stage presence. The band scored their first hits, in ‘Boys In Town’ and ‘Only Lonely’ off the back of the 1982 film Monkey Grip, in which they performed.
Their breakthrough single came in late 1982, when ‘Science Fiction’ was released in November, establishing the group’s unique take on the new wave genre as well as Amphlett’s obvious musical and stylistic appeal.
Their second album, 1985’s What A Life! spawned their second Australian Top 5 hit in ‘Pleasure And Pain’, but it was with their 1991 self-titled album, and its radio-storming #1 single ‘I Touch Myself’ that the band’s success peaked, including successes in the US and the UK.
Their discography grew to include four Top 10 Australian albums and a number one in America, they were eventually inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006 before splitting in 2007 after a short tour; Amphlett and members of the band made brief reunions in the years since.
Tributes from music figures have begun pouring in over Twitter, including The Living End’s Chris Cheney, Eskimo Joe’s Kav Temperley, Kate Miller-Heidke, Triple J’s Dom Alessio, and more:
RIP Chrissy Amphlett. She was something else. Our rockwiz duet a career highlight for me, her talent and kindness was so inspiring.
— Chris Cheney (@ChrisCheney23) April 22, 2013
RIP Chrissy amphlett
Hard to believe such a tough cookie could slip away so fragile and early
What a legend, what a legacy
— Kav Temperley (@KavTemperley) April 22, 2013
Very sad about Chrissy Amphlett. I've never seen anyone with such a stage presence – she was absolutely electrifying. #valechrissy
— Kate Miller-Heidke (@kmillerheidke) April 22, 2013
Remembering @BenFolds and I having a blast covering "I Touch Myself" a few times over the years. Safe travels to Chrissy Amphlett
— Ben Lee (@benleemusic) April 22, 2013
Sad to hear about the passing of Chrissy Amphlett, singer of The Divinyls. Such a fantastic and electric frontwoman http://t.co/OLeV2WCXXt
— Home & Hosed (@homeandhosed) April 22, 2013
Chrissy Amphlett passed away today after losing her battle with cancer. She was my idol and… http://t.co/Vktlm9eTW8
— The Preatures (@ThePreatures) April 22, 2013
#ChrissyAmphlett is an icon of Australian rock. The times i met her she was absolutely delightful and hilarious. She will be missed.
— Charlie Pickering (@charliepick) April 22, 2013
Chrissy Amphlett was properly rock. She won't be forgotten by anyone who values danger, courage and chaos. What an icon.
— Eddie Perfect (@Eddieperfect) April 22, 2013
Just so sad about Chrissie Amphlett. Such a talent. Unlike the song, she touched everybody else,.
— Derryn Hinch (@HumanHeadline) April 22, 2013