Punk pioneer and icon Poly Styrene, lead singer of X-Ray Spex, has died of cancer. She was 53.
Of the very few punk bands I actually tried to listen to over the years, X-Ray Spex was easily my favorite. Where other bands screamed “messages” over 3 chords, the Spex blended pop and punk with actual lyrical content. The band featured a sax player, which gave the songs a different kind of appeal than other run-of-the-mill bands of her era. But most importantly, it was Poly Styrene’s presence, look and sound that put her band head and shoulders above most every other punk band that emerged from the late 70’s, and her influence on the direction of X-Ray Spex allowed them to remain relevant all of these years later. She will be missed.
An excellent article about her life and recent passing can be found HERE.