Chrissy Amphlett

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Chrissy Amphlett
Chrissie Amphlett.jpg
Amphlett performing in 2007
Background information
Birth name Christine Joy Amphlett
Born (1959-10-25)25 October 1959
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Died 21 April 2013(2013-04-21) (aged 53)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Rock, new wave
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1980–2011
Labels Chrysalis Records, Virgin Records, RCA Records
Associated acts Divinyls
The Tulips

Christine Joy "Chrissy" Amphlett (/æmflət/; 25 October 1959 – 21 April 2013) was an Australian singer, songwriter and actress who was the frontwoman of the Australian rock band Divinyls.

Amphlett grew up in Geelong in Victoria, Australia, as a singer and dancer. She left home as a teenager and travelled to England, France, and Spain. She was detained for three months in Spain, for singing on the streets. [1]

In May 2001, Divinyls' "Science Fiction", written by Amphlett and lead guitarist Mark McEntee, was selected by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[2] Amphlett and McEntee barely spoke after the band separated in 1996, but resumed contact when they were inducted in 2006 into the ARIA Hall of Fame, eventually announcing a new album and tour. [3] Amphlett died in 2013 of breast cancer and complications from multiple sclerosis.[4] Her contribution to the arts and legacy have been honoured by having a Melbourne central city laneway named "Amphlett Lane" in her honour, complete with a commemorative plaque and two artworks.[5]

Divinyls

Amphlett met Mark McEntee at a concert at the Sydney Opera House in 1980 and they formed Divinyls with Jeremy Paul (Air Supply). Having performed in Sydney for some time, they recorded several songs for the film Monkey Grip, in which Amphlett also acted.[6]

Divinyls consisted of an ever-changing line-up formed around Amphlett and McEntee, whose relationship was always volatile.[7] Nevertheless, the band released six albums between 1982 and 1996, peaking in 1991 with the success of their single "I Touch Myself", which reached Number 1 in Australia, Number 4 in the USA, Number 10 in the UK. Divinyls did not release another album for six years, breaking up around the time of Underworld's release in Australia. Amphlett lived in New York City with her husband, concentrating on a solo career and writing her autobiography, Pleasure and Pain: My Life.

Amphlett and McEntee barely spoke after the band broke up, but resumed contact when they were inducted in the 2006 ARIA Hall of Fame and eventually announced a new tour and album.[3] They recorded and released a single, "Don't Wanna Do This", and toured Australia, but the proposed reunion album was never made.[8]

Other musical work

In 1971, she performed with One Ton Gypsy.[9] Amphlett performed Divinyls' and other songs with a 30 piece orchestra for the Australian Rock Symphony in January 2010.[10]

In 2011, she released the single "Summer Song" under the name The Tulips, a band consisting of Amphlett, Charley Drayton and Kraig Jarret Johnson. It was used in the soundtrack for the film The Music Never Stopped.[11]

Acting

In 1976, Amphlett played the role of Linda Lips in the R-rated musical Let My People Come. Amphlett made her film debut in Monkey Grip (1982) in a supporting role as Angela, the temperamental lead singer of a rock band.[12]

In 1988, she starred opposite Russell Crowe in the first Australian production of Willy Russell's stage musical Blood Brothers.[13]

Amphlett played Judy Garland in the original touring production of The Boy from Oz, with Todd McKenney playing the role of Peter Allen. When the highly successful show transferred to Broadway in the year 2000, Garland was played by American performer Isabel Keating and Allen by Hugh Jackman. On its return to Australia as an arena spectacular, Amphlett resumed playing the role.[14]

Personal life

Amphlett grew up in Geelong and attended Belmont High School. She was a cousin of Australian singer Little Pattie (Patricia Amphlett).[15]

Amphlett and her bandmate Mark McEntee were romantically involved from 1982 to 1993. They met in 1980, and began a relationship two years later when McEntee split up with his wife. Their relationship was highly volatile, being marred by drug and alcohol use, and physical fights. However the band's manager, Vince Lovegrove, later stated that the nature of their "weird" relationship was the "magic of Divinyls".[16]

On 27 July 1999, Amphlett married American drummer Charley Drayton,[17] who played drums on the Divinyls' eponymous album and was the drummer in the reformed group.

In an interview on the Nine Network program A Current Affair, on 7 December 2007, Amphlett revealed that she had multiple sclerosis.[18][19] On 20 October 2010, she announced that she had breast cancer and was being treated in New York where she lived with her husband. She also said that her sister was a breast cancer survivor.[20] On 24 January 2011, she claimed to be free of cancer.[21]

Death

Amphlett died, aged 53, on 21 April 2013 at her home in New York City, US, after a long battle with breast cancer.[4][7][22] Due to the multiple sclerosis that Amphlett concurrently suffered from, she reported that she was unable to receive radiation treatment or chemotherapy as cancer treatment.[23] Following the announcement of Amphlett's death, numerous tributes were received from artists, performers and musicians. Russell Crowe wrote: "RIP Chrissie Amphlett, [she] played my mum in Blood Brothers, 1988."[24]

I Touch Myself Project

Chrissy’s family and friends and Cancer Council NSW launched the breast cancer awareness project "I Touch Myself" in 2014, as a tribute to her. The video features 10 leading female Australian artists: Olivia Newton John, Megan Washington, Sarah McLeod, Katie Noonan, Sarah Blasko, Suze DeMarchi, Deborah Conway, Kate Ceberano, Little Pattie and Connie Mitchell singing Amphlett's song. Cancer Council NSW summarized the message of the campaign as "However, detecting breast cancer early is the most important factor in beating this disease. Through this campaign we are encouraging women to get to know their breasts better, to know what is normal for them and to participate in breast screening if they’re in the right age range."[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ Amphlett, Chrissy; Writer, Larry (November 2005). Pleasure and Pain: My Life. Hachette Livre Australia. ISBN 0-7336-1959-2. 
  2. ^ Kruger, Debbie (2 May 2001). "The songs that resonate through the years" (PDF). Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Divinyls". Countdown, (ABC TV). Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Chrissy Amphlett dead at 53". The Age. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Northover, Kylie (18 February 2015). "Melbourne puts rock icon Chrissy Amphlett on the map". The Age. Melbourne. 
  6. ^ Sheddon, Iain (23 April 2013). "Pleasure and pain of rock pioneer Amphlett". The Australian. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Adams, Cameron (2 April 2013). "Chrissy Amphlett Dead After Losing Cancer Battle". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Cashmere, Paul (22 April 2013). "Divinyls Chrissy Amphlett Dies". Noise11. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Divinyls - Biography, Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Crabbe, Ashlee (13 January 2010). "Australian Rock Symphony". The Age. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Shedden, Ian (23 April 2013). "Wild woman of Oz rock broke mould". The Australian. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Christina Amphlett". IMDb.com. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Russell Crowe leads tributes to Chrissy Amphlett". Daily Express. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Blackman, Guy (6 August 2006). "A lady on the stage". The Age. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Adams, Cameron (27 August 2009). "ARIA Award may heal Mental as Anything rift". The Herald Sun. News Corporation. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  16. ^ Adams, Cameron (27 April 2013). "Fine line between pleasure and pain for Divinyls' Chrissy Amphlett and Mark McEntee". Sunday Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Amphlett (Chrissy) Christina", Who's Who in Australia, Crown Content, 2010.
  18. ^ Gibson, Jano; Dunn, Emily (8 December 2007). "Amphlett reveals she has MS". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Rock star Chrissy's disease fight". The Daily Telegraph. 7 December 2007. 
  20. ^ Australian Times (20 October 2010). "Chrissy Amphlett – cancer diagnosis". The Australian Times. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  21. ^ Devic, Aleks (28 January 2011). "Chrissy Amphlett is winning cancer fight". Geelong Advertiser. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett dies". ABC. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  23. ^ "Chrissy Amphlett, queen of Aussie rock". Nine News National. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "Chrissy Amphlett, Divinyls Lead Singer, Dies at 53". 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "Sunday Night wants you to touch yourself". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 

External links

  • Chrissy Amphlett on IMDb
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