Ari Up's Slits bandmate: 'We didn’t realise how ill she was'

Bassist Tessa Pollitt confirms singer passed away after battling cancer

Andy Willsher/NME
Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
The Slits' Ari Up died after battling with cancer, the band's bassist Tessa Pollitt has told NME.

Ari Up died on Thursday (October 20) aged 48 after what was described as a "serious illness".

Pollitt explained that the extent of her cancer was not known to the other band members until after she died.

"Ari didn’t want me or the rest of the group to tell anyone that she was ill," she explained. "We didn’t realise how ill she was. Out of respect for the family I don't really want to talk about it. It was cancer, that’s all I’ll say."

The bassist described her bandmate as, "a total rebellious soul. Such a compassionate person, the original wild child if you will. And a musical genius not really given the recognition in her lifetime".

Read Kate Nash's blog paying tribute to Ari Up now.

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