German-born punk pioneer Ari Up — the frontwoman of The Slits who learned guitar from Joe Strummer and was John Lydon’s stepdaughter — died today at age 48 following “a serious illness,” Lydon and her mother, Nora Forster, announced late this afternoon via Public Image Ltd.’s website.
Up, who was born Arianna Forster, formed the Slits at age 14 in 1976 with future Raincoats drummer Palmolive. The group forged a sound that mixed the raw force of punk with lilting reggae rhythms and dub, releasing three albums before splitting in 1982. In 2005, Up reformed the Slits with early bassist Tessa Pollit, and the group had performed periodically since, releasing an album, Trapped Animal, in 2009.
In honor of her passing, we share this video of the Ari Up and the rest of the Slits performing the band’s 1980 single “Man Next Door” in concert in Berlin on June 19, 1981.