Denise Johnson fund raises £18,000 for Music Venue Trust

A memorial event at Manchester's Gorilla venue helped raise funds this summer

A fund in the name of late Primal Scream and New Order singer Denise Johnson has raised £18,000 for Music Venue Trust (MVT).

Johnson died suddenly last July at the age of 56 from natural causes.

At her funeral last summer, Johnson’s family asked for donations in lieu of flowers to be made to MVT, a cause that the singer had supported vocally on her social media accounts. MVT is a charity that acts to help protect, secure and improve UK music venues.

Today (September 8), MVT shared via Facebook that a memorial event for Johnson in Manchester was held recently, just over a year on from her death and on what would have been her 58th birthday. Friends and family gathered at the city’s Gorilla venue to watch live performances and celebrate her life.

When the much-loved Manchester singer Denise Johnson died unexpectedly in July 2020, an outpouring of love for her…

Posted by Music Venue Trust on Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Proceeds from that event, which included from tickets and a raffle, were added to what was left of the money raised last summer for MVT, totalling £18,000.

Mark Davyd, CEO of MVT, said in a statement: “We are incredibly grateful to the family and friends of Denise Johnson for their extraordinarily generous donations to Music Venue Trust that have been made in memory of Denise. The event celebrating her life and her passion for music was a special moment for Manchester’s music scene and gave everyone a real sense of how much she was loved and will be missed.

“Thank you to everyone involved in organising it, to all who attended and performed, and to everyone who has donated to us to support Manchester’s grassroots music venues and live music scene.”

Johnson was a Manchester music legend, with singing credits on Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’ as well as work on releases by New Order, A Certain Radio and I Am Kloot.

In October a mural honouring Johnson by French-born artist Akse appeared on the outside of arts centre Niamos in the Hulme district of Manchester.

“We’re totally stunned into silence,” Johnson’s family said of the mural. “Really cannot find words for how brilliant this is. We’re genuinely lost for words in the nicest sense”.

Denise’s friend, BBC producer Natalie-Eve Williams, tweeted about the mural, writing: “Our girl is on the streets where she grew up. Cannot thank you enough @Akse_P19 for your kindness and generosity”.