Chrissy Amphlett, lead singer for Australian rock outfit Divinyls, succumbed on Monday to a battle with breast cancer, passing away in her sleep in her New York home, Billboard reports. She was 53.
While the Divinyls were essentially one-hit wonders in the U.S. with their controversial 1991 single “I Touch Myself,” the band (co-led by Amphlett and Mark McEntee) were a staple in their home country of Australia, having many chart successes on the ARIA charts and having been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2001, the Australasian Performing Rights Organization named the Divinyls’ song “Science Fiction” as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. The band had already been performing for a decade before “I Touch Myself” became a worldwide sensation.
Particularly known for her stage presence, Amphlett also ventured into film and stage acting, at one point performing alongside Russell Crowe in the Australian stage production of Blood Brothers in 1988. She also published an autobiography, Pleasure and Pain: My Life, in 2005.
Chrissy Amphlett’s battle with breast cancer was reportedly complicated by the fact that she also had multiple sclerosis, which prevented her from receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatment. A statement released on ARIA’s website includes the following words from her husband, Charley Drayton:
“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….Chrissy was a true pioneer and a treasure to all whose lives her music and spirit touched.”