Sandy West dies after lung cancer battle

The Runaways drummer Sandy West has died from complications following a battle with lung cancer.

The star, 47, passed away on Saturday (October 21).

Formed in 1975 The Runways, who split in 1979, were an all-female, pre-punk band who influenced the likes of The Go-Gos and The Bangles, as well as the Riot Grrrl movement of the 90s.

In tribute to West, Runaways leader Joan Jett said: “I started The Runaways with Sandy West. We shared the dream of girls playing rock and roll.

Sandy was an exuberant and powerful drummer. So underrated, she was of the calibre of John Bonham. I am overcome from the loss of my friend. I always told her, we changed the world.”

Runaways member Cherie Currie wrote on her official site: “Sandy West was by far, the greatest female drummer in the history of rock and roll. No one could compete or even come close to her, but most important was her heart.

Sandy West loved her fans, her friends and family almost to a fault. She would do absolutely anything for the people she loved. It will never be the same for me again to step on a stage, because Sandy West was the best and I will miss her forever.”