July 28, 2016  

The Slits Unveils the Cause of Ari Up's Death

October 23, 2010 (4:54 am) GMT
Days after Up's death on October 20, her band's bassist Tessa Pollitt reveals the singer died of cancer, but she and the rest of the group 'didn't realize how ill she was.'

Tragic The Slits star Ari Up was battling cancer in the months leading up to her death on Wednesday, October 20 but failed to tell her band mates how serious her illness had become. The British punk pioneer's stepfather, rocker John Lydon, previously revealed Up passed away after suffering a "serious illness" and now The Slits' bassist Tessa Pollitt admits the 48 year old had been diagnosed with cancer.

But Up had hidden the news of her declining health from her band mates and they only realized how advanced the disease had become after she died. Pollitt tells NME.com, "Ari didn't want me or the rest of the group to tell anyone that she was ill. We didn't realize 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."

And the grieving star has paid tribute to Up, describing her as a "total rebellious soul". She adds, "(Up was) such a compassionate person, the original wild child, if you will. And a musical genius not really given the recognition in her lifetime."

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