This is not the way I wanted to start my Monday… Chrissy Amphlett, the former lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls, died at her home in NYC on Sunday at the young age of 53. Chrissy was diagnosed with MS in 1998 and in 2011, she announced that she was battling breast cancer. Chrissy was working on new music in NYC while getting medical treatments. Chrissy’s husband, former Divinyls drummer Charley Drayton, and her cousin, Australian pop icon Little Pattie, were with her when she died. Chrissy’s family released this statement to the Herald Sun:
“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.
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.”
I was 11 or 12 the first time I heard “I Touch Myself.” My drunk tia played it at one of our family gatherings. She blasted it on some wonky boombox, sashayed to the middle of the living room and danced to it as my abuelita muttered “cochina” to herself in the corner. I have Chrissy Amphlett to thank for that beautiful memory.
And here’s my other favorite Divinyls song:
Rest in peace, Chrissy Amphlett.