Ari Up (aka Arianna Foster), a founding member of the Slits, passed away yesterday at the young age of 48. John Lydon, who is married to Nora Foster, Up's mother, delivered the disheartening news rather succinctly 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 20) after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed." Indeed.
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Starting the Slits in the late '70s at age fourteen, Up served as a radical, influential voice to a generation of male and female musicians alike. Vocal about the fact that the group's dub-heavy, minimalist punk sound wasn't politically motivated, Up never denied that she was a spokeswoman for feminism in the music industry. The Slits reformed (though not with all original members) in 2006, and released its last album Trapped Animal, in 2009.