Music fans are mourning the death of Chrissy Amphlett, lead singer of Australian rock band The Divinyls, who died at her home in New York on Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Amphlett, who was recently named one of Australia’s top 10 singers of all time, was 53.
“Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity," her American musician husband and former Divinyls drummer Charley Drayton said in a statement.
"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.”
Amphlett revealed in 2010 that she had breast cancer and had been battling M.S.
"I'll get over it,” she said. “I've got songs to sing, I've got stages to perform on. I'm a keep-on-going sort of girl.''
The Divinyls had four top 10 albums in Australia and one in the United States. Their biggest hit was “I Touch Myself,” released in 1991. The band split in 1997, regrouped for a tour in 2007 and then parted ways again in 2009.
Tributes poured in for the feisty singer described by fans as a “trailblazer” and “electric frontwoman,” who wowed audiences with her torn fishnet stockings, schoolgirl outfits and edgy performances.
"Chrissy was just such a wonderful person and so, so talented. It's incredibly sad news,” said Australian music critic Ian “Molly” Meldrum.
"She broke ground for women in Australian music, she was amazing and fearless."
Actor Russell Crowe, who played Amphlett’s son in the Australian production of the musical “Blood Brothers” in 1988 posted a farewell message to the singer on Twitter.
Dear Chrissie, The last time I saw you was in the Botanic Gardens, loving life and reciting verse. That's how I'll remember you, your boy, R
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) April 22, 2013
Australian singer Kate Ceberano told News Limited Network that Amphlett had had a major influence on her career and news of her death had “hit me like a punch in the chest.”