Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (3 July 1957 – 25 April 2011), known by the stage name Poly Styrene, was a British musician, singer-songwriter, and frontwoman for the punk rock band X-Ray Spex.
Styrene was born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said in 1957 in Bromley, Kent, England, and raised in Brixton, London. Her mother, who raised her alone, was a Scottish-Irish legal secretary. Her father was a dispossessed Somali aristocrat.
As a teenager, Styrene was a hippie but also trained in opera. At age 15, she ran away from home with £3 in her pocket, and hitchhiked from one music festival to another, staying at hippie crash pads. Thinking of this as a challenge to survive, her adventure ended when she stepped on a rusty nail while bathing in a stream and had to be treated for septicaemia.
After seeing the Sex Pistols performance at the Pier Pavilion Hastings on the south coast of England on 3 July 1976 (her 19th birthday) she decided to form the punk band X-Ray Spex.
tyrene recorded her first demo album in 1975, when she was 18 years old. Her manager enlisted Ted Bunting to produce the record. According to Bunting, the album's punk rock sound allowed Styrene to tap into her lyrical talents, writing words that resonated directly with the period's youth.
In 1976, Styrene released her first single under her real name, Mari Elliott. Titled "Silly Billy", it was a reggae track, with some touches of the then popular ska style. She co-wrote the B-side "What A Way" with the record's producer, Falcon Stuart. The single came in a GTO Records sleeve.
n 1983, Styrene was initiated into the Hare Krishna movement and recorded at their recording studios while living as a devotee at Bhaktivedanta Manor. She lived as a Hare Krishna convert in Hertfordshire and London from 1983 to 1988.
In March 2009, Styrene took part in the inaugural Instigate Debate night. The night's theme was modern day consumerism. Other current issues were also discussed. She lived in St Leonards, East Sussex.
In February 2011, in an interview published in The Sunday Times magazine, which largely focused on her past and present relationship with her daughter Celeste, Styrene revealed that she had been treated for breast cancer, and that it had spread to her spine and lungs. She died on 25 April 2011, at the age of 53.
Her daughter Celeste Bell-Dos Santos was the frontwoman for the music group Celeste Dos Santos & The Tabloid Queens based in Madrid, Spain, which existed from 2012–3.
Information and Photo Credit: wikipedia.org