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Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphett dead at 53

April 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The raunchy lead singer of Divinyls, whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York City on Sunday. She was 53 years old.

Chrissy Amphlett died after fighting breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, according to her musician husband Charley Drayton.

"Chrissy's light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity. She always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength, she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women," Drayton said.

Also by her bedside Sunday was her cousin Patricia Amphlett, a 1960s Australian pop star known as "Little Pattie."

Amphlett and Mark McEntee formed the Divinyls after meeting at a concert at the Sydney Opera House in 1980. The Australian rock band released six albums between 1982 and 1996, peaking in 1991 with the success of the single "I Touch Myself," which reached No. 1 in Australia, No. 4 in the United States and No. 10 in Britain.

She was known for her distinctive singing voice, as well as edgy stage performances clad in school uniforms and fishnet stockings.

Amphlett was also an actress who made her movie debut in the 1982 Australian film "Monkey Grip," which featured several Divinyls tracks. She later played Russell Crowe's mother in the Australian stage production of the musical "Blood Brothers."

"Dear Chrissie, The last time I saw you was in the Botanic Gardens, loving life and reciting verse. That's how I'll remember you, your boy, R," Crowe said in a Tweet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.