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Music

Genesis P-Orridge, Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle co-founder, dies at 70

Portrait of iconic transgender artist and experimental musician Genesis P Orridge in their New York home.
Portrait of iconic transgender artist and experimental musician Genesis P Orridge in their New York home.
(Béatrice de Géa / For The Times)

Iconoclastic transgender musician Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, best known as part of the influential industrial band Throbbing Gristle and the experimental pop group Psychic TV, has died, according to P-Orridge’s manager.

The artist was 70.

P-Orridge manager Ryan Martin confirmed the artist’s death on Facebook on Saturday, posting a statement from daughters Genesse and Caresse P-Orridge.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we announce thee passing of our beloved father, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge,” they wrote. “S/he had been battling leukemia for two and a half years and dropped he/r body early this morning.”

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The post said P-Orridge “will be laid to rest with h/er other half, Jacqueline ‘Lady Jaye’ Breyer who left us in 2007, where they will be reunited.”

P-Orridge, born Neil Andrew Megson, was long a critic of gender norms and preferred gender-neutral pronouns. The artist began undergoing gender reassignment surgery in the mid-’00s.

P-Orridge first earned attention as founder of Throbbing Gristle, which originated in 1975 and became known for using white noise and abrasive sounds in its compositions. P-Orridge’s follow-up, Psychic TV, known for its use of video, debuted in 1982.

P-Orridge “submitted that pure noise could be as expressive as a musical instrument,” wrote Times music writer Randall Roberts in an October interview with the musician, two years after s/he was diagnosed with leukemia.

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P-Orridge, a crucial figure in experimental music and transgender visibility, has Stage IV leukemia. Their new art exhibit, Pandrogeny, opens in L.A. this week.

Asked how s/he stays optimistic amid their illness and the current state of politics, P-Orridge said: “All around us are wonderful young people who have realized that definitions are meaningless and that they are individual beings who choose to become self-created. They are our hope.”

Please check back for more from Roberts on P-Orridge.


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