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Birmingham’s Toyah Ann Willcox was born on 18 May 1958. As a professional actress, her film appearances included Jubilee (1978) and Quadrophenia (1979), and she suddenly found parallel success as a highly visual punk/pop singer.

toyah_5Chart success came in 1981 with It’s A MysteryI Want To Be Free and Thunder In The Mountains.

The following year she also charted with the startling, hypnotic Ieya, and the raucous Be Loud, Be Proud (Be Heard).

Her combination of lisping girly charm and rather scary punkish growling earned her the title of best female Singer in the British Rock and Pop Awards in 1982 and she quickly became a Smash Hits cover staple with her video-friendly wardrobe explosion and catchy singles.

She later married former King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, became a Buddhist and in 1983 she starred in Trafford Tanzi at the Mermaid Theatre, London.