Chrissy Amphlett

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Chrissy Amphlett
Chrissie Amphlett.jpg
Background information
Birth name Christine Joy Amphlett
Born 25 October 1959
Died 21 April 2013 (aged 53)
New York City, New York
Genres RockNew Wave
Occupations Singer, songwriter, actress
Instruments Singing
Years active 1982–2013
Labels Chrysalis RecordsVirgin Records,RCA Records
Associated acts Divinyls

Christine Joy “Chrissy” Amphlett (25 October 1959 – 21 April 2013) was an Australian singer who was lead singer of the rock band Divinyls.

She grew up in Geelong as a singer and dancer. She left home as a teenager and travelled to EnglandFrance and Spain where she was imprisoned[1] for three months for singing on the streets.

In May 2001, Divinyls’ “Science Fiction“, written by Amphlett and lead guitarist Mark McEntee, was selected by Australasian Performing Right Association(APRA) as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.[2] Erstwhile lovers Amphlett and McEntee barely spoke after the band had separated in 1996, but resumed contact when they were inducted in the 2006 ARIA Hall of Fame, eventually announcing a new tour and album.[3]




Main article: Divinyls

Amphlett met Mark McEntee at a concert at the Sydney Opera House in 1980 and, together with Jeremy Paul (Air Supply), formed Divinyls shortly after. After several years of live gigs in Sydney, they recorded several songs to be used on the soundtrack of the film Monkey Grip.

Divinyls consisted of an ever-changing lineup around the core of Amphlett and McEntee, whose relationship was volatile throughout their career. Nonetheless, the band released six albums between 1982 and 1996, peaking in 1991 with the success of the single “I Touch Myself“, which reached Number 1 in Australia, 10 in the UK and 4 in the US. The Divinyls did not release another album for nearly six years, splitting up around the time of Underworlds release in Australia. Amphlett lived in New York City with her husband, concentrating on a solo career and writing her autobiography, Pleasure and Pain: My Life.

Amphlett and McEntee barely spoke after the band split up, but resumed contact when they were inducted in the 2006 ARIA Hall of Fame, eventually announcing a new tour and album.[3]

Amphlett performed Divinyls’ songs and others with a 30 piece orchestra for the Australian Rock Symphony in January 2010.[4]

[edit]Other work

Amphlett also worked as an actress, making her film debut in the 1982 film Monkey Grip in which she had a supporting role as the temperamental lead singer of a rock band.[5] Jane Clifton — later ofNeighbours fame — wrote in her autobiography that Monkey Grip’s author, Helen Garner, wrote of Clifton in the book. The film’s director preferred Amphlett in the Clifton role because “Clifton was neither good looking enough or a good enough singer to play herself.”[citation needed]

In 1988, Amphlett starred alongside Russell Crowe in the first Australian production of Willy Russell‘s stage musical Blood Brothers.[6][7]

Amphlett played Judy Garland in the original touring production of The Boy from Oz, with Todd McKenney playing the role of Peter Allen. When the highly successful show transferred to Broadway in the year 2000, Garland was played by American performer Isabel Keating and Allen by Hugh Jackman. On its return to Australia as an arena spectacular, Amphlett resumed the role.[8]

[edit]Personal life

Amphlett grew up in Geelong and was a student at Belmont High School with Denis Walter. She was a cousin of Australian singer Little Pattie (Patricia Amphlett).[9]

On 27 July 1999, Amphlett married American drummer Charley Drayton,[10] who played drums on the Divinyls’ eponymous album and was the drummer in the reformed group. Prior to her marriage to Drayton, Amphlett had an affair with Mark McEntee.[8]

In an interview on the Nine Network program A Current Affair, on 7 December 2007, Amphlett revealed that she had multiple sclerosis.[11][12] On 20 October 2010, she announced that she had breast cancer, and was being treated in New York where she lived with her husband. She said her sister is a breast cancer survivor.[13] On 24 January 2011, she claimed to be free of cancer.[14]

Amphlett died on 21 April 2013 at her home in New York City after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 53.[15][16] Because she also suffered from multiple sclerosis, Amphlett had been unable to have radiation treatment or chemotherapy for the cancer.[17]


  1. ^ Pleasure and Pain: My Life by Chrissy Amphlett with Larry Writer. ISBN 0-7336-1959-2. Published by Hachette Livre Australia (formerly Hodder Headline Australia), November 2005
  2. ^ Kruger, Debbie (2 May 2001). “The songs that resonate through the years” (PDF). Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  3. a b DivinylsCountdown (ABC TV).
  4. ^ Crabbe, Ashlee (13 January 2010). “Australian Rock Symphony”The Age. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  5. ^ “Christina Amphlett”. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  6. ^ “Audition – Blood Brothers | theatre australia”. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  7. ^ “BLOOD BROTHERS | theatre australia”. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  8. a b Blackman, Guy: A lady on the stageThe Age, 6 August 2006.
  9. ^ Adams, Cameron (27 August 2009). “ARIA Award may heal Mental as Anything rift”The Herald Sun (News Corporation). Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  10. ^ “Amphlett (Chrissy) Christina”, Who’s Who in Australia, Crown Content, 2010.
  11. ^ Amphlett reveals she has MSThe Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2007.
  12. ^ Rock star Chrissy’s disease fightThe Daily Telegraph, 7 December 2007.
  13. ^ “Chrissy Amphlett – cancer diagnosis”. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  14. ^ Devic, Aleks (28 January 2011). “Chrissy Amphlett is winning cancer fight”Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  15. ^ “Chrissy Amphlett dead”. The Age. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  16. ^ “Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett dies”. ABC. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  17. ^ “Chrissy Amphlett Dead After Losing Cancer Battle”. Retrieved 2013-04-22.

[edit]External links

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