21 Facts About Poly Styrene


Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, known by the stage name Poly Styrene, was an English musician, singer-songwriter, and frontwoman for the punk rock band X-Ray Spex.


Poly Styrene was born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said in 1957 in Bromley, Kent, and brought up in Brixton, London.


Poly Styrene's mother, who raised her alone, was a Scottish-Irish legal secretary.


Poly Styrene's father was a Somali-born dock worker, although Poly Styrene used to tell the press that he was a dispossessed Somali aristocrat.


Poly Styrene's manager enlisted Ted Bunting to produce the record.


In 1976, Poly Styrene released her first single under her real name, Mari Elliott.


Poly Styrene co-wrote the B-side "What a Way" with the record's producer, Falcon Stuart.


Poly Styrene was "one of the least conventional frontpersons in rock history, male or female".


In 1978, after a gig in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Poly Styrene had a vision of a pink light in the sky and felt objects crackling when she touched them.


In 2007, Poly Styrene was invited to the Concrete Jungle festival in Camber Sands, by her friend Goldblade's John Robb where she and the gathering's organiser, Symond Lawes, agreed to initiate a 30-year celebration of X-Ray Spex's debut album, Germfree Adolescents.


In March 2009, Poly Styrene joined other members of PRS for Music in criticising Google for allegedly not paying a fair share of royalties to musicians.


Poly Styrene released a free download of "Black Christmas" in November 2010.


Poly Styrene announced "Virtual Boyfriend" as the first single from the new album Generation Indigo via Spinner Music, as well as the launch of her new website.


In 1983, Poly Styrene was initiated into the Hare Krishna movement and recorded at their recording studios while living as a devotee at Bhaktivedanta Manor.


Poly Styrene lived as a Hare Krishna convert in Hertfordshire and London from 1983 to 1988.


In March 2009, Poly Styrene took part in the inaugural Instigate Debate night.


Poly Styrene had a daughter, Celeste Bell-Dos Santos, and lived alone 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, Poly Styrene revealed that she had been treated for breast cancer, and that it had spread to her spine and lungs.


Poly Styrene died of metastatic breast cancer on 25 April 2011, at the age of 53.


The book, titled Day Glo: The Poly Styrene Story, was published in the United States in September 2019.


In 2021, Styrene was the subject of a documentary, Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche, that was initially crowd-funded until the project got some investment from Sky Arts.