Ari Up, Frontwoman of Punk Band The Slits, Dead at 48

Ari Up, who led the innovative British punk band the Slits, died Wednesday at 48.  According to John Lydon of the Sex Pistols, Ari Up – real name Arianna Forster – had been battling a serious illness for some time.

Lydon is married to Forster’s mother and posted this on his website:

“John and Nora have asked us to let everyone know that Nora’s daughter Arianna (aka Ari-Up) died today (Wednesday, October 20th) after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed. Everyone at and PiLofficial.Com would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to John, Nora and family. Rest in Peace.”

Ari Up wasted no time getting the Slits started, founding the band at age 14.  The band is credited for sparking the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, as the Slits were at one point an all-female band that broke into the male-dominated world of punk.

“The Slits were totally rebellious and crazy. We were the absolute threat to society,” Ari Up said in an interview last year. “We were such a threat. For our people, we changed the world.”

The Slits were known for controversial and outrageous antics, such as appearing topless and covered in mud on the album cover for 1979’s Cut.

You can download the Slits music here.