Obituary: Ari Up, Slits vocalist, 48

Ari Up, the frontwoman of the British punk band The Slits, died Oct. 20, 2010, at age 48, reportedly from cancer.

She was born Ariane Forster on Jan. 17, 1962, in Munich, Germany; her stepfather was John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) and she has noted that her godfather is Jon Anderson, the singer of Yes.

The Slits formed in 1976 when Up teamed up with drummer Palmolive (Paloma Romero), guitarist Kate Korus and bassist Suzi Gutsy. That year, The Slits shared the bill with The Clash and The Buzzcocks on the “White Riot” tour. The Slits produced two landmark albums — “Cut” and “Return of The Giant Slits” — by 1981, before splitting up. The Slits reformed in 2005 and had remained together until Up’s death.

Up later became part of The New Age Steppers. She released a solo album, “Dread More Dan Dead,” in 2005.

The Slits’ most recent record label, Narnack Records, released the band’s final work, the video for the song “Lazy Slam” from the 2009 album “Trapped Animal.” The album was the first full-length Slits album since 1981. Up was insistent that the video be seen, and it was her wish to release it posthumously. The video for “Lazy Slam” can be viewed here. — Goldmine staff

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