Punk singer has died...
Jason Gregory

12:19 26th April 2011

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Boy George has paid tribute to Poly Styrene, the punk singer who has died at the age of 53.

Styrene, the singer with X Ray Spex, passed away on Monday (April 25) after a battle with cancer of the spine and breast.

In a message on Twitter, Boy George wrote: "I was a fan of Poly before I got to know her, she was a Krishna follower too, oh bless you Polly you will be missed! Legend!"

A statement released on the singer's own page said: "We can confirm that the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter, won her battle on Monday evening to go to higher places.”

Styrene – real name  Marianne Elliot-Said – formed X Ray Spex after being inspired by seeing Sex Pistols perform live.

The band released one album 'Germ Free Adolescents', in 1978, before their split.

The Most Iconic Women In Music

  • 30. Emily Haines – The voice behind Metric and now a well established solo star, Emily Haines has the undeniable stage presence of a some of the best female performers. (Photo By: Sharjo)

  • 29. Lovefoxxx - One of the most present day performers in our rundown, Lovefoxx has spent the last two years crowd surfing through moshpits in a cat suit which makes her look like a rainbow trout in mating season. She is CSS.

  • 28. Juliette Lewis –Too much of a rock chic to be confined to the acting world, Juliette Lewis quickly assembled a band of ‘Licks’ and, helped by her eccentric dance moves and outspokenness, has become one of music’s most effervescent front women. (Photo By: Shirlaine Forrest)

  • 27. Kate Jackson – Kate Jackson’s so cool that, quite frankly, when we watch The Long Blondes we don’t notice that there’s a band playing behind her. With a voice that’s more deserving than their confined success, we expect the future could be very successful for a solo Jackson – if that ever happens! (Photo By: PR Photos)

  • 26. Gwen Stefani – Now a commercial phenomenon, Gwen Stefani has come a long way from the days when she tore up stages with No Doubt. She might now be an established solo star, but she’s still iconic enough to make our countdown. (Photo By: Carsten Windhorst)

  • 25. Cindy Lauper – With her adopted punk image Cindy Lauper found herself achieving a cult teenage following in the early 1980s. Add to the image the extraordinary success of her debut solo album ‘She’s So Unreal’ – which included the infectious ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ – and it’s easy to see how she inspired so many young musicians. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 24. Shirley Manson – As the lead singer of Garbage, Shirley Manson makes the list because quite frankly, she’s not to be crossed. Famous for screaming her impassioned vocals with fearless intent, she’s now on the verge of embarking on a solo career. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 23. Annie Lennox – Although the Eurythmics weren’t Lennox’s first band, it was her second partnership with Dave Stewart that really showcased her talent. Recording such classics as ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘Should I Lie To You?’ Lennox built a legacy which saw her hailed as ‘The greatest white soul singer alive.’ (Photo By: WENN)

  • 22. The Slits – The original exponents of girl power, The Slits make our rundown for their plucky determination to challenge the so called punk rock genre that they emerged in.

  • 21. Cat Power – Following a battle with alcohol addiction, Cat Power has emerged to become one of the truly great female performers of the 21st century. With a new covers album, which puts a whole new spin on classic songs, it seems there’s little she can’t do. (Photo By: Carsten Windhorst)

  • 20. Alison Mosshart – Alison Mosshart, one half of the Kills, has quite frankly got punk rock flowing through her veins. For that reason (and because we’re nervous about what the implications of missing her out might entail) she makes the list.

  • 19. Justine Frischmann – After leaving Suede in acrimonious circumstances, Justinne Frischmann went on to form the Mercury Music Prize nominated Elastica. Their self-titled debut went on to storm the charts entering at number one.

  • 18. Melissa Auf Der Mar – She’s played bass in Hole and The Smashing Pumpkins, published photography and is now playing in her own band Auf Der Mar. That’s good enough to make our icon rundown.

  • 17. Karen O – Famous for getting in a tangle with her microphone chord and undergoing more costume changes than a one-woman Broadway show, Karen O and her voice are one of the most recognisable assets in 21st century rock music. (Photo By: Simon Leak)

  • 16 Amy Winehouse – Not a day goes by without another escapade from Amy Winehouse. First she sang about not going to rehab then she went. Reported drugs overdoses, alcohol binges, pic ‘n mix diets – you name them, she’s allegedly done them. Sadly it’s starting to overshadow the best thing about her: her music. (Photo By: WENN)

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  • 14. Kim Deal – As the bassist in The Pixies, Kim Deal deployed the basslines which are so powerful and influential in virtually all their songs. Although she also earned critical success with The Breeders, it’s her key role in The Pixies that means we can’t miss her off the countdown. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 13. Joni Mitchell – One of the more restrained characters on our list doesn’t mean that Joni Mitchell is any less worthy of being here. Hailed as one of the most important recording artists of the 20th century, she should be revered for her fearless ability to experiment.

  • 12. Tori Amos – Probably the most prominent female singer songwriter of the 1990s, Tori Amos has developed a truly cult following thanks to her multi-genre inspired music and captivating performance style. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 11. Siouxsie Sioux – The Cure, Garbage and Massive Attack are all acts who claimed to have been influenced by Siouxsie Sioux (and her Banshees) during their most prominent years. Now a solo artist, she continues to bring her unique style and visual intrigue to audiences everywhere. (Photo By: Rose Dennen)

  • 10. Debbie Harry – Despite having the recognition, Debbie Harry has never gone on to achieve the same level of success that she earned during her time fronting Blonie. Spawning such hits as ‘Heart Of Glass’ and ‘Rapture’, with Blondie she was undoubtedly one of the iconic faces and key figures behind new-wave. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 9. Kim Gordon – As bassist in Sonic Youth it’s hard to forget Kim Gordon. An indisputable figure in the history of no wave, Gordon’s fantastic bass rhythms will forever be remembered on such albums as their eponymous debut and ‘Daydream Nation’. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 8. Janis Joplin – One of the ’27 Club’ (she died of a drugs overdose), Janis Joplin will forever be remembered for the psychedelic sounds she created during her time in Big Brother and the Holding Company and later with her Kozmic Blues Band. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 7. Courtney Love – The definition of controversial, Courtney Love evokes pretty much everything that’s captivating about female rock stars. The rock star husband; outspoken statements; and, not to mention, her own history of alternative rock giants. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 6. Kate Bush – Although you can’t get to Kate Bush these days for six foot high exclusion walls, you can still listen to her defining past – such as the idiosyncratic ‘Running Up That Hill’ – which still continues to shape the music of other artists over thirty years later.

  • 5. PJ Harvey – Harvey is known for being as eccentric off stage as her music is on it. But put her potato-only diets to one side and you’re left with one of the most consistent performers of the 90s and 00s. The awards and accolades – which include the Mercury Prize and Grammy nominations – simply reaffirm her iconic status. (Photo By: WENN)

  • 4. Bjork – Fact: Bjork has allegedly punched more paparazzi photographers in airports than any other musician. Let’s put that to one side and focus on the music though. Bjork’s this high up because whenever you listen or watch her you can’t help but get lost in her ethereal presence. (Photo By: WENN)

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  • 2. M.I.A. - Mathangi ‘M.I.A.’ Arulpragasam has blossomed over recent years to become one of the most engrossing live performers around. Packed with political and cultural references, her 2007 album ‘Kala’ has cemented her status in the current crop of music’s must see female artists. (Photo By: PR Photos)

  • 1. Patti Smith – Smith hasn’t been called the ‘Godmother of Punk’ for nothing. One of the most influential figures in the birth of the genre she’s gone on to make powerful, thought provoking music since the mid-1970s; and, was recently inducted to Rock music’s Hall Of Fame. Well now she can add to that accolade the title of Gigwise’s most Iconic Woman in Rock. (Photo By: WENN)

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Photo: WENN.com