British-Somali songwriter, feminist, and musician Marianne Joan Elliott-Said, also known by her stage name Poly Styrene, is most notably known for being the founder of punk rock band X-Ray Spex.
She was born in Bromley, London, and ran away from home at the age of 15 with just £3 in her pocket, hitchhiking from one music festival to another. This adventure ended when she stepped on a rusty nail while bathing in a stream and had to be treated for septicaemia.
After seeing the Sex Pistols performance at the Pier Pavillion Hastings on her 19th birthday she thought that anyone could do what they were doing and so decided to form her own Punk Rock band, putting an ad in the paper calling for ‘young punx who want to stick it together’, and that was the beginning of X-Ray Spex. She eventually became a passionate feminist and posted a blog dedicated to women’s rights and defense of women.
She was described by Billboard as the “archetype for the modern-day feminist punk”; because she wore dental braces, stood against the typical sex object female of 1970’s rock star, sported a gaudy Dayglo wardrobe, and was of mixed race. She was “one of the least conventional front-persons in rock history, male or female”.
Needless to say, she was a total bad ass.