Sad news from New York this afternoon as word filtered through that Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett has passed away aged 53.
Amphlett lived in New York with her husband, former Divinyls drummer Charley Drayton. She had revealed in 2010 that she had breast cancer, and she had also battled multiple sclerosis, although the extent of which was unknown for much of the general public.
Amphlett was the cousin of 1960’s icon “Little Pattie” Thompson, and inspired a generation of Australians as lead singer of the Divinyls, who formed in 1980.
The screen adaptation of Helen Garner’s brilliant novel Monkey Grip would prove the catalyst for the Divinyls early success, featuring their first hits Boys in Town and Only Lonely.
Her cousin, Patricia ‘Little Pattie’ Thompson and family have released the following statement.
“Our beloved Chrissy peacefully made her transition this morning. Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity. She passed gently, in her sleep, surrounded by close friends and family, including husband of fourteen years, musician Charley Drayton, her sister, Leigh, nephew, Matt, and cousin Patricia Thompson (“Little Pattie”).
“Chrissy’s light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity; she always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women. Best remembered as the lead singer of the ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Divinyls, last month she was named one of Australia’s top ten singers of all time. Chrissy expressed hope that her worldwide hit I Touch Myself would remind women to perform annual breast examinations. Chrissy was a true pioneer and a treasure to all whose lives her music and spirit touched.”
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Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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