British punk icon Poly Styrene dies aged 53

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British punk singer Poly Styrene, who fronted the band X-Ray Spex wearing braces on her teeth and day-glo outfits, has died aged 53 after a battle with cancer, her website said Tuesday.

The singer -- whose real name was Marianne Elliot Said -- was famed in the band's late 1970s heyday for punchy songs such as "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" and "Germ Free Adolescents".

She was one of the first female punk icons and remained a rare presence in a largely male-dominated business, having formed her band after seeing The Sex Pistols perform on her 18th birthday.

"We can confirm that the beautiful Poly Styrene, who has been a true fighter, won her battle on Monday evening to go to higher places," a statement on her website said.

British singer Boy George paid tribute to her on Twitter, saying: "Oh bless you Polly you will be missed! Legend!"

Former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock praised her "general joie de vivre nuttiness".

"I did see her not that long ago so it's sad. Again, somebody from the punk rock scene has died far too young and it's a loss," he told BBC radio.

© 2011 AFP

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