'I Touch Myself' Singer Dead at 53

Chrissy Amphlett was lead singer of Divinyls

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 22, 2013 10:39 AM CDT | Updated Apr 22, 2013 10:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chrissy Amphlett, the raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York City yesterday. She was 53 years old. "Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity," her musician husband Charley Drayton said in a statement. "Chrissy's light burns so very brightly. ... She paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women."

Amphlett met musician Mark McEntee at a concert at the Sydney Opera House in 1980 and the pair formed the Divinyls, which released six albums between 1982 and 1996, peaking in 1991 with "I Touch Myself." The band reformed briefly in 2006. Amphlett announced in 2007 that she had multiple sclerosis and in 2010 that she had cancer. 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. Crowe tweeted a tribute.

In this file photo from Aug. 2, 2006, Australian singer Chrissy Amphlett performs with cast from the musical The Boy from Oz  during a photocall at the Sydney Entertainment Center in Sydney.
In this file photo from Aug. 2, 2006, Australian singer Chrissy Amphlett performs with cast from the musical "The Boy from Oz" during a photocall at the Sydney Entertainment Center in Sydney.   (Mark Baker)
Chrissy Amphlett died yesterday at age 53.
Chrissy Amphlett died yesterday at age 53.   (YouTube)
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The Divinyls' breakout hit, "I Touch Myself."   (YouTube)

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