Divinyls Singer Christina Amphlett Passes Away From Breast Cancer At Age 53!

I can remember the first moment that I became aware of Christina Amphlett's existence.  She and the band were on some TV show performing live from London and I was immediately transfixed by the way she prowled the stage and sang with a unique punk gusto I had never heard from a female rock singer.  The next day, I hit the record store.  I'll never forget the image of her on the cover of the first Divinyls record, Desperate, in that trademark school girl dress.  I found it fitting that she was from Australia, as she reminded me of a female version of fellow Aussie Angus Young of AC/DC.

I bought the album without a moment's hesitation and was instantly rewarded the moment I pressed play.  Her voice was gutteral, yet nuanced, and her band was a snarly bunch, tight as thieves.  I was in love.

Saw them in Chicago, finally, around the time they got popular with "I Touch Myself".  The original line-up was long gone, but Christina sang with a sense of confident abandon that belied the shiny pop sheen of the radio hit that brought many to the show.  Sprinkled throughout the crowd were old school fans of the band wearing shirts from previous Divinyls tours.  The rest looked like they watched a lot of MTV.  For their entire set, I could not take my eyes of of her.  I left the show wondering how on earth she hadn't already been a huge star on par with Blondie's Debbie Harry or Pat Benatar...all three
signed to Chrysalis in the U.S. throughout the 1980's.

Is that a coincidence?

In a recent conversation with friends last year, her name came up.  After a quick Google, I read that she had been battling cancer, the treated of which was compounded by the fact that she was already fighting multiple Sclerosis.  Sadly, she lost her battle with breast cancer last night, April 21, at the age of 53.  In her honor, I immediately cranked Side One of What A Life! without even realizing the newfound importance of the album title.  It made perfect sense.

What A Life, indeed.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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