Chrissy Amphlett, Lead Singer of Divinyls, Dies at 53

Credit: John Stanton/WireImage

You’d be hard pressed to have waded through the ’90s without the occasional Divinyls number getting stuck in your head — the 1991 hit “I Touch Myself” being an especially prominent culprit in the pervasion of the American brain. As such, the timbers of Chrissy Amphlett, the band’s lead singer, will forever hold residence between our ears, her vocals sure to pop up every so often at the slightest provocation (recollection of that famed Austin Powers scene, or simply just hearing the word “touch”). Tragically, Amphlett passed away on Sunday at the age of 53, following struggles with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, as reported in a statement by her husband Charley Drayton, via The Huffington Post.

Drayton said, “Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity. 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.”

Australia native Amphlett co-created the Divinyls in 1980, along with fellow musicians Mark McEntee and Jeremy Paul. Through the mid-’90s, the band released six albums, earning an especial popularity with their aforementioned hit “I Touch Myself.” The group reconvened in 2006 after a 10-year hiatus, following their induction into the Australian Recording Industry Assocation Hall of Fame.

Several months after an Australian Rock Symphony performance, backed by a 30-piece orchestra, in Jan. 2010, Amphlett publicized her diagnosis with breast cancer.

In her final years, Amphlett lived in New York with her husband Drayton.

Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter

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