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Siouxsie Sioux

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Siouxsie Sioux
Siouxsie Sioux performing in 1980
Siouxsie Sioux performing in 1980
Background information
Birth nameSusan Janet Ballion
Born (1957-05-27) 27 May 1957 (age 67)
Southwark, London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1976–present
Formerly of
(m. 1991; div. 2006)

Susan Janet Ballion (born 27 May 1957), known professionally as Siouxsie Sioux (/ˌszi ˈs/, soo-zee-SOO), is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer.[a] She came to prominence as the leader and main lyricist of the rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, who were active from 1976 to 1996. They released 11 studio albums, and had several UK Top 20 singles including "Hong Kong Garden", "Happy House" and "Peek-a-Boo", plus a US Top 25 single in the Billboard Hot 100, with "Kiss Them for Me".

Siouxsie also formed a second group, the Creatures, in 1981. With the Creatures, she released four studio albums and singles such as "Right Now". After disbanding the Creatures in the mid-2000s, she has continued as a solo artist, using just the name Siouxsie, and released the album Mantaray to critical acclaim in 2007.

AllMusic named Siouxsie as "one of the most influential British singers of the rock era".[1] Her songs have been covered by Jeff Buckley ("Killing Time"), Tricky ("Tattoo") and LCD Soundsystem ("Slowdive") and sampled by Massive Attack ("Metal Postcard") and the Weeknd ("Happy House"). In 2011, she was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the Q Awards[2] and in 2012, she received the Inspiration Award at the Ivor Novello Awards.[3]



Early life (1957–1976)


Siouxsie was born Susan Janet Ballion[4] on 27 May 1957 at Guy's Hospital in Southwark, England.[5] She is ten years younger than her two siblings. Her sister and brother were born while the family was in the Belgian Congo.[5] Her parents met in that colony and worked there for a few years. Her mother, Betty, was of Scottish and English descent and was a secretary who spoke both French and English.[6] Her father was a bacteriologist who milked venom from snakes, and came from Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. In the mid-1950s, before Siouxsie's birth, the family moved to England.

The Ballions lived in a suburban district in Chislehurst, Kent. Siouxsie was an isolated child, being unable to invite friends to her house because of her alcoholic, unemployed father.[7] Despite his issues, Siouxsie regarded him as intelligent and well-read, and sympathised with his inability to fit in with a "rigid, middle-class society".[8] During moments of sobriety, her father shared with her his love for books. Siouxsie was aware that her family was different;[9] the Ballions were not involved in the local community and Siouxsie, aware that her family's house differed from the neighbours', would later state that "the suburbs inspired intense hatred."[9]

At the age of nine, she and a friend were sexually assaulted by a stranger in a park. The assault was ignored by both her parents and the police,[10] and was not spoken of in the family. The incident and the way it was treated led Siouxsie to distrust adults.[11] Years later, she stated:

I grew up having no faith in adults as responsible people. And being the youngest in the family I was isolated – I had no one to confide in. So I invented my own world, my own reality. It was my own way of defending myself – protecting myself from the outside world. The only way I could deal with how to survive was to get some strong armour.[11]

Her father died of alcoholism-related illness when Siouxsie was 14 years old, resulting in a decline in her health. Siouxsie lost a great deal of weight and failed to attend school. After several misdiagnoses, she was operated on and survived a bout of ulcerative colitis.[12] During the weeks of recovery in mid-1972, she watched television in the hospital and saw David Bowie on Top of the Pops.[11]

At 17, she left school. During this period she began visiting the local gay discos frequented by her sister's friends.[13] She later introduced her own friends to that scene. In November 1975, the Sex Pistols performed at the local art college in Chislehurst. Siouxsie did not attend, but one of her friends told her they sounded like the Stooges, and that singer Johnny Rotten had threatened students attending the gig. In February 1976, Siouxsie and her friend Steven Severin went to see the Sex Pistols play in London. After chatting with members of the band, Siouxsie and Severin decided to follow them regularly.[14] In the following months, journalist Caroline Coon coined the term "Bromley Contingent" to describe this group of eccentric teenagers devoted to the Sex Pistols.[15]

Siouxsie became well known in the London club scene for her glam, fetish- and bondage-inspired attire, which later became part of punk fashion.[11] She would also heavily influence the later development of gothic fashion with her signature cat-eye makeup, deep red lipstick, spiky dyed-black hair, and black clothing.[11] In early September 1976, the Bromley Contingent followed the Sex Pistols to France, where Siouxsie was beaten up for wearing a cupless bra and a black armband with a swastika on it. She claimed her intent was to shock the older generation, not to make a political statement.[16] She later wrote the song "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)" (in memory of the anti-Nazi artist John Heartfield).[17]

Following the DIY ethos and the idea that the people in the audience could be the people on stage, Siouxsie and Severin decided to form a band. When a support slot at the 100 Club Punk Festival (organised by Malcolm McLaren) opened up, they decided to make an attempt at performing, although at that time they did not know how to play any songs. On 20 September 1976, the band improvised 20 minutes of music while Siouxsie sang the "Lord's Prayer".[18]

For critic Jon Savage, Siouxsie was "unlike any female singer before or since, commanding yet aloof, entirely modern".[19] Viv Albertine from the Slits said:

Siouxsie just appeared fully made, fully in control, utterly confident. It totally blew me away. There she was doing something that I dared to dream but she took it and did it and it wiped the rest of the festival for me, that was it. I can't even remember everything else about it except that one performance.[20]

One of Siouxsie's first public appearances was with the Sex Pistols on Bill Grundy's television show, on Thames Television in December 1976.[21] Standing next to the band, Siouxsie made fun of the presenter when he asked her how she was doing. She responded: "I've always wanted to meet you, Bill." Grundy, who later claimed he was drunk, suggested a meeting after the show, which provoked guitarist Steve Jones to respond with a series of expletives inappropriate for prime-time television.[21] This episode created a media furore on the front covers of several tabloids, including the Daily Mirror, which published the headline "Siouxsie's a Punk Shocker". The event had a major impact on the Sex Pistols' subsequent career, and they became a household name overnight.[22]

Aware of the press surrounding both herself and the Sex Pistols, Siouxsie began to distance herself from the scene and stopped seeing the Sex Pistols after the 15 December 1976 gig at Notre Dame Hall. From then, she focused her energy on her own band, Siouxsie and the Banshees.[23]

Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Creatures (1977–2003)

Siouxsie Sioux in November 1980 in NYC

In 1977, Siouxsie toured in the UK as Siouxsie and the Banshees, with Severin on bass, Kenny Morris on drums and John McKay on guitar.[24] One year later, their first single, "Hong Kong Garden" reached number 7 in the UK Singles Chart.[25] With its oriental-inflected xylophone motif, Melody Maker deemed it "a glorious debut [...] All the elements come together with remarkable effect. The song is strident and powerful with tantalising oriental guitar riffs plus words and vocals that are the result of anger, disdain and isolation. No-one will be singled out because everyone is part and parcel of the whole. It might even be a hit".[26]

Their debut album, The Scream, was one of the first post-punk records released. It received 5-star reviews in Sounds[27] and Record Mirror.[28] The latter said that the record "points to the future, real music for the new age".[28] The music was different from the single; it was angular, dark and jagged. The Scream was later hailed by NME as one of the best debut albums of all time along with Patti Smith's Horses.[29] Join Hands followed in 1979 with war as the lyrical theme.[30]

The 1980 album Kaleidoscope marked a change in musical direction with the arrival of John McGeoch, considered "one of the most innovative and influential guitarists" by The Guardian,[31] and drummer Budgie, the latter of whom would continue to perform and record with Siouxsie until 2004. The hit single "Happy House" was qualified as "great Pop" with "liquid guitar"[32] and other songs like "Red Light" were layered with electronic sounds. Kaleidoscope widened Siouxsie's audience, reaching the top 5 in the UK Albums Chart. Juju followed in 1981, reaching number 7; the singles "Spellbound" and "Arabian Knights" were described as "pop marvels" by The Guardian.[33] During recording sessions for Juju, Siouxsie and Budgie formed a percussion-oriented duo called the Creatures, characterized by a stripped-down sound focused on vocals and drums; their first record, the EP Wild Things, was a commercial success.

In 1982, the Siouxsie and the Banshees' album A Kiss in the Dreamhouse was widely acclaimed by critics.[34] Richard Cook of NME depicted it as "a feat of imagination scarcely ever recorded".[35] The single "Slowdive" was "a violin-colored dance beat number".[36] They included strings for the first time on several songs. However, the recording sessions took their toll, and McGeoch was forced to quit the band.[37]

In 1983, Siouxsie went to Hawaii to record the Creatures' first album, Feast, which included the hit single "Miss the Girl". It was her first incursion into exotica, incorporating sounds of waves, local Hawaiian choirs and local percussions. Later that year, Siouxsie and Budgie released "Right Now", a song from Mel Tormé's repertoire that the Creatures re-orchestrated with brass arrangements;[38] "Right Now" soon became a top 20 hit single in the UK. Then, with the Banshees (including guitarist Robert Smith of the Cure), she covered the Beatles' "Dear Prudence", which reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.[39] Two albums followed with Smith: Nocturne, recorded live in London in 1983, and 1984's Hyæna. In 1985, the single "Cities in Dust" was recorded with sequencers; it climbed to number 21 in the UK charts. Entertainment Weekly noted that it was the first of a handful of Alternative rock radio hits in the U.S.[40] 1986's Tinderbox and the 1987 covers album Through the Looking Glass both reached the top 15 in the UK.[41]

In 1988, the single "Peek-a-Boo" marked a musical departure from her previous work,[42] anticipating hip hop-inspired rock with the use of samples. The song was praised by NME as "oriental marching band hip hop with farting horns and catchy accordion"[43] and hailed by Melody Maker as "a brightly unexpected mixture of black steel and pop disturbance".[44] The Peepshow album received a five star review in Q magazine.[45] The ballad "The Last Beat of My Heart" issued as a single, saw her exploring new ground with accordion and strings.[46]

Siouxsie and Budgie then went to Andalusia in Spain to record the second Creatures album, Boomerang. The songs took a different direction from previous Creatures works, with backing music ranging from flamenco to jazz and blues styles. It featured brass on most of the songs. The first single was "Standing There". NME hailed Boomerang as "a rich and unsettling landscape of exotica".[47] Anton Corbijn visited the group during the recording near Jerez de la Frontera, and Siouxsie convinced him to take photographs in color, unlike his prior work which was in black-and-white: the photos used for the promotion showed Siouxsie and Budgie in fields surrounded with sunflowers.[48] In 1990, she toured for the first time with the Creatures, in Europe and North America.[49]

On 1991's dance-oriented "Kiss Them for Me" single, Siouxsie and the Banshees used South Asian instrumentation, which had become popular in the UK club scene with the growth of bhangra.[50][51] Indian tabla player Talvin Singh (who was later Björk's percussionist on her 1993 Debut album) took part in the session and provided vocals for the bridge. With "Kiss Them for Me", the Banshees scored a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 23.[52] After the release of Superstition which received enthusiastic reviews,[53] the group co-headlined the first Lollapalooza tour, further increasing their American following.

Siouxsie at the first Lollapalooza in Irvine, California, 1991

In 1992, film director Tim Burton requested that she write a song for Batman Returns, and the Banshees composed the single "Face to Face".[54]

In the mid-1990s, Siouxsie started to do one-off collaborations with other artists. Suede invited her to a benefit concert for the Red Hot Organization. With guitarist Bernard Butler, she performed a version of Lou Reed's "Caroline Says". Spin reviewed it as "haughty and stately".[55] Morrissey, ex-lead singer of the Smiths, recorded a duet with Siouxsie in 1994. They both sang on the single "Interlude", a track that was initially performed by Timi Yuro, a female torch singer of the 1960s. "Interlude" was released under the banner "Morrissey and Siouxsie".[56]

The last Banshees studio album, The Rapture, was released in 1995; it was written partly in the Toulouse area of France, where she had recently moved. After the accompanying tour, the Banshees announced their split during a press conference called "20 Minutes into 20 Years". The Creatures de facto became her only band.[57] At the same time, she released the song "The Lighthouse" on French producer Hector Zazou's album Chansons des mers froides (which translates to Songs from the Cold Seas), with jazz trumpetist Mark Isham. Siouxsie and Zazou adapted the poem "Flannan Isle" by English poet Wilfred Wilson Gibson.[58]

Her first live performance in three years was in February 1998 when former Velvet Underground member John Cale invited her to a festival called "With a Little Help From My Friends" at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. The concert was shown on Dutch national television and featured an unreleased Creatures composition, "Murdering Mouth", sung as a duet with Cale.[59] The collaboration between the two artists worked so well that they decided to tour the US from June until August, performing "Murdering Mouth", and Cale's "Gun" together as the encores of a Creatures and Cale double bill.[60]

The following year, Siouxsie and Budgie released Anima Animus, the first Creatures album since the split of the Banshees. It included the singles "2nd Floor" and "Prettiest Thing". The material diverged from their former work, with a more urban sound blending art rock and electronica. Anima Animus was described by The Times as "hypnotic and inventive".[61] Also in 1999, Siouxsie collaborated with Marc Almond on the track "Threat of Love".

In 2002, she did a short reunion tour with the Banshees titled The Seven Year Itch. That same year, Universal released The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees as the first reissue of her back catalogue.

In 2003, Siouxsie and Budgie released the last Creatures album, Hái!, which was in part recorded in Japan, collaborating with taiko player Leonard Eto (previously of the Kodo Drummers). Peter Wratts wrote in Time Out: "Her voice is the dominant instrument here, snaking and curling around the bouncing drumming backdrop, elegiac and inhuman as she chants, purrs and whispers her way around the album". He termed the record a "spine-tingling achievement".[62] Hái! was preceded by the single "Godzilla!". That year, Siouxsie was featured on the track "Cish Cash" by Basement Jaxx, from their album Kish Kash, which later won Best Electronic/Dance Album at the Grammy Awards.[63]

Solo (2004–present)

Siouxsie at the Saturday Night Fiber, Madrid 2008

2004 was a pivotal year for the singer. She toured for the first time as a solo act combining Banshees and Creatures songs. A live DVD called Dreamshow was recorded at the last London concert, in which she and her musicians were accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra, the Millennia Ensemble. Released in August 2005, this DVD reached the number 1 position in the UK music DVD chart.[64]

Her first solo album, Mantaray, received rave reviews upon release in September 2007.[65] Pitchfork wrote, "She really is pop", before finishing the review by declaring, "It's a success".[66] Mojo stated: "a thirst for sonic adventure radiates from each track".[67] Mantaray included three singles: "Into a Swan", "Here Comes That Day" and "About to Happen". In 2008, Siouxsie recorded vocals for the track "Careless Love" on The Edge of Love soundtrack by composer Angelo Badalamenti. She performed it with another Badalamenti number, "Who Will Take My Dreams Away", at the annual edition of the World Soundtrack Awards.[68] After a year of touring, the singer played the last show of her tour in London in September 2008. A live DVD of this performance, Finale: The Last Mantaray & More Show, was released in 2009.[69]

In June 2013, after a hiatus of five years, Siouxsie played two nights at the Royal Festival Hall in London during Yoko Ono's Meltdown festival. She performed 1980's Kaleidoscope album live in its entirety, along with other works from her back catalogue, and her performance was praised by the press.[70] She also appeared at Ono's Double Fantasy concert, to sing the final song, "Walking on Thin Ice".[71] In October 2014, she and fellow Banshee Steven Severin compiled a CD titled It's a Wonderfull Life for the November 2014 issue of Mojo magazine, in which she appeared on the cover.[72] The disc included 15 tracks that inspired the Banshees.[73]

"Love Crime", her first song in eight years,[74] was featured in the finale of the TV series Hannibal, broadcast in August 2015. Series creator Bryan Fuller called it "epic".[75]

Siouxsie announced her return to the stage in 2023.[76] She headlined the Cruel World Festival in Pasadena, California, in May,[77] and the Release Athens 2023 festival in June.[78] Her performance in Madrid at the Noches del Botánico was praised by Time Out.[79] In August, she was in concert in Málaga at Cala Mijas.[80] At the same period, Mantaray was reissued with a different artwork on three different editions, translucent red vinyl, black vinyl and CD: the album was remastered at Abbey Road Studios for its fifteenth anniversary.[81] In early 2024 Siouxsie collaborated with Iggy Pop to record a new rendition of "The Passenger": it was specifically made for an advert.[82]



Journalist Paul Morley noted that Siouxsie's songs topics dealt with "mental illness, medical terrors, surreal diseases, depraved urges, sinister intensity, unearthly energy, sexual abuse, childhood disturbances, sordid mysteries, unbearable nervous anxiety, fairytale fears, urban discontent and the bleak dignity of solitude". Many of her songs are about damage; her childhood marked her profoundly. She said, "Damaged lives, damaged souls, damaged relationships. Most of the damage I sing about first happened when I was younger and I am still feeding off it and working it out. Early experiences are what create a lifetime of damage. The songs you write can help you fix the damage. And just the environment you are in is so important and can waste potential and corrupt something. For me, there was neglect. An alcoholic father who is not there because the most important thing for him is just to get alcohol and your mother is trying to compensate for the non-existent second parent so she's never there because she's working all the time and when she is around she's stressed out. Being isolated and not having anyone to connect with, there was just no physical touching back then".[83]



Her voice is, in its own right, the common thread through all of it. There is no one who sings like that. And I think there are a lot of people who were influenced by it, but even if you try and sing like her, you can't do that. You can't throw your voice like that. You can't throw harmony like that. That is a very distinct voice. Her technique is a thread between the really far-out stuff and opera and pop music. It's distinct. It's all her own.

Siouxsie has been praised by artists of many genres. She had a strong impact on two trip-hop acts. Tricky covered 1983's proto trip-hop "Tattoo",[85] to open his second album Nearly God,[86] and Massive Attack sampled "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)" on their song "Superpredators (Metal Postcard)" for the soundtrack to the film The Jackal.[87]

Other acts have covered Siouxsie's songs. Jeff Buckley performed "Killing Time" several times;[88] he first recorded it during a radio session for WFMU in 1992.[89] LCD Soundsystem recorded a cover of "Slowdive" for the B-side of "Disco Infiltrator", which was also released on Introns.[90] Santigold based her track "My Superman" on the music of "Red Light".[91] In 2003, the Beta Band sampled "Painted Bird" on a track titled "Liquid Bird" on their Heroes to Zeros album.[92] Red Hot Chili Peppers performed "Christine" at the V2001 festival and introduced it to their British audience as "your national anthem".[93] "Christine" was also revisited by Simple Minds.[94] Indie folk group DeVotchKa covered "The Last Beat of My Heart" at the suggestion of Arcade Fire singer Win Butler in 2007.[95] The Weeknd sampled "Happy House" on "House of Balloons" in 2011,[96] and he performed it during his Super Bowl halftime show in 2021.[97]

Morrissey said that "Siouxsie and the Banshees were excellent. They were one of the great groups of the late 70s, early 80s".[98] In 1994, discussing modern bands, he also stated: "None of them are as good as Siouxsie and the Banshees at full pelt. That's not dusty nostalgia, that's fact".[99] Another member of the Smiths, Johnny Marr, said: "Really my generation was all about a guy called John McGeoch, from Siouxsie and the Banshees. He was a great player".[100] Marr hailed McGeoch for his work on Siouxsie's single "Spellbound". Marr qualified it as "clever" with "really good picky thing going on which is very un-rock'n'roll".[101] Radiohead also cited McGeoch-era Siouxsie records when mentioning the recording of "There There".[102] Their singer, Thom Yorke, said: "The band that really changed my life was R.E.M. and Siouxsie and the Banshees ...". "My favourite show I ever saw then was Siouxsie and she was absolutely amazing. ... She's totally in command of the whole audience".[103] Yorke added that she "made an especially big impression in concert, she was really sexy but absolutely terrifying."[104] Sonic Youth singer and guitarist Thurston Moore named "Hong Kong Garden" as one of his 25 all-time favourite songs.[105]

Siouxsie has influenced other bands ranging from contemporaries Joy Division,[106] U2,[107] and the Cure,[108] to later acts like the Jesus and Mary Chain,[109] Jane's Addiction[110] and TV on the Radio.[111] Joy Division co-founder Peter Hook said that The Scream inspired them for the "really unusual way of playing" of the guitarist and the drummer and cited the Banshees as "one of our big influences".[106] U2 frontman Bono named her as an influence in the band's 2006 autobiography U2 by U2. He was inspired by her way of singing.[107] "I still think that I sing like Siouxsie from The Banshees on the first two U2 albums".[112] With his band, he selected "Christine" for a compilation made for Mojo's readers.[113] U2 guitarist the Edge also was the presenter of an award given to Siouxsie at a Mojo ceremony in 2005.[114] The Cure's Robert Smith related what the Join Hands tour brought him musically: "When we supported The Banshees in 1979, we suddenly became aware of how limited our palette was. I felt constrained, so when the opportunity arose to play with them I jumped at it and juggled the two bands for a while. It taught me a lot – they had fantastic rhythm sections and this made me think, 'Why can't I have this?'."[115] For Smith's record The Head on the Door in 1985, he stated: "It reminds me of the Kaleidoscope album, the idea of having lots of different sounding things, different colours".[116] Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction once made a parallel between his band and the Banshees: "There are so many similar threads: melody, use of sound, attitude, sex appeal. I always saw Jane's Addiction as the masculine Siouxsie and the Banshees".[110] Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio hailed the poppiest Siouxsie songs, citing their arrangements: "I've always tried to make a song that begins like "Kiss Them for Me". I think songs like "I Was a Lover" or "Wash the Day Away" came from that element of surprise mode where all of a sudden this giant drum comes in and you're like, what the fuck?! That record was the first one where I was like, okay, even my friends're going to fall for this. I feel like that transition into that record was a relief for me. Really beautiful music was always considered too weird by the normal kids and that was the first example where I thought, we've got them, they're hooked! I watched people dance to that song, people who had never heard of any of the music that I listened to, they heard that music in a club and went crazy".[111] Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode said about her: "She always sounds exciting. She sings with a lot of sex–that's what I like".[117] Mark Lanegan stated that he would have liked to collaborate with her: "In my wildest dreams I would love to sing with Siouxsie".[118] She is also revered by Damon Albarn[119] and Dave Grohl.[120] Omar Rodríguez-López of the Mars Volta mentioned his liking for "the very textural side of Siouxsie".[121] Santigold said, "I keep a Rolodex of the women that vocally inspire me. There aren't that many, but she's definitely one of them. I remember one of the first times I heard 'Red Light' it was at a party, and I remember going up to the DJ and being like, 'Who's this?'. It was that good. I kind of stopped and was like ... wow. There's not a tremendous amount of women who are bold and forward thinking as artists. I feel like her music, at the time especially, was pretty unique in the way that it sort of matched her style. The freedom of experimenting with this dark place that doesn't have a place often in modern music".[91]

Siouxsie has inspired many female singers. When asked if there was any figure who connected with her when she was just a listener, PJ Harvey replied: "It's hard to beat Siouxsie Sioux, in terms of live performance. She is so exciting to watch, so full of energy and human raw quality".[122] Harvey also selected in her top 10 favourite albums of 1999, the Anima Animus album by Siouxsie's second band the Creatures.[123] Sinéad O'Connor[124] said that when she started, Siouxsie was one of her main influences.[125] Tracey Thorn of Everything but the Girl wrote in her autobiography that Siouxsie was one of her heroines.[126] Thorn paid homage to Siouxsie in the lyrics of her 2007 song "Hands Up to the Ceiling".[127] Elizabeth Fraser[128] of Cocteau Twins used to have a Siouxsie tattoo on her arm, and mentioned her liking for "Metal Postcard" to the members of Massive Attack in 1998.[129] Sharleen Spiteri of Texas grew up listening to tracks such as "Hong Kong Garden" and was hooked by the Asian vibe present in the song;[130] she stated that Texas' single "In Our Lifetime" was "our tribute to Hong Kong Garden".[131] Garbage singer Shirley Manson cited her as an influence: "I learned how to sing listening to The Scream and Kaleidoscope".[132] Manson also declared that Siouxsie embodied everything she wanted to be as a young woman.[133] Manson would later write the foreword to Siouxsie & The Banshees: The Authorised Biography.[134] Beth Ditto,[135] of Gossip cited her as one of their influences for their 2009 album Music for Men.[136] Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters named Siouxsie as a source of inspiration and the Banshees as her favourite band.[137] Siouxsie was also hailed by Romy Madley Croft of the xx,[138] Kim Deal of the Pixies and the Breeders,[139] and also by Josephine Wiggs of the Breeders,[140] and namechecked by Karin Dreijer Andersson of the Knife.[141] Kate Jackson of the Long Blondes said that Siouxsie was a part of her musical background,[142] thanks to her "sharp lyrics" on Creatures' tracks like "So Unreal".[143] Rachel Goswell mentioned her as a major influence: "From a singing point of view, I was inspired by Siouxsie Sioux, who I just adored. She's amazing. I've never seen anyone else quite like her";[144] her band Slowdive was named on a suggestion of Goswell, inspired by the Banshees' single of the same name.[145] Lush were initially named "the Baby Machines", which the band culled from the lyrics of "Arabian Knights".[146] Courtney Love of Hole wrote Siouxsie in her favourite records' list when she was a teenager in her diary.[147] While talking about another band, Love also stated: "They are amazing. ... It's kind of very Siouxsie Sioux".[148] Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth said: "Initially I was really inspired by ... Siouxsie, Patti Smith".[149] FKA twigs named her as a main influence: "Every bit of music that I made sounded like a pastiche of Siouxsie ... but through that I discovered myself".[150] Róisín Murphy named Siouxsie when asked who were her biggest influences.[151]

Other musicians who have stated their admiration for Siouxsie's work include Charli XCX,[152] Hayley Williams of Paramore,[153] Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries,[154] Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields,[155] Ebony Bones,[156] Grimes,[157] Toni Halliday of Curve,[158] Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill,[159] Cat Power,[160] Gillian Gilbert of New Order,[161] Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls,[162] Alison Goldfrapp,[163] Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne,[164] Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine,[165] Chelsea Wolfe,[166] Brody Dalle of the Distillers,[167] Kristin Kontrol of the Dum Dum Girls,[168] Joan As Police Woman,[169] Lou Doillon,[170] Emel Mathlouthi,[171] Girlpool,[172] Liz Phair,[173] Billie Ray Martin,[174] An Pierlé,[175] Uffie,[176] Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches,[177] Meshell Ndegeocello,[178] St. Vincent,[179] Anohni,[180] Jehnny Beth of Savages,[181] Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint,[182] and Nabihah Iqbal.[183]

In 2022, Sky Arts ranked her at number 14 in Britain's top 50 most influential artists of the last 50 years,[184] and The Times called her "one of British pop's most charismatic and original artists".[185]

Personal life


Siouxsie married bandmate Budgie in May 1991. The following year, they moved to the southwest of France.[186]

In an interview with The Sunday Times in August 2007, she announced that she and Budgie had divorced.[187] In an interview with The Independent, she said:

I've never particularly said I'm hetero or I'm a lesbian. I know there are people who are definitely one way, but not really me. I suppose if I am attracted to men then they usually have more feminine qualities.[188]

In 2023, she teamed up with PETA to protest against animal testing. In a letter to Japanese conglomerate Ajinomoto, the world's largest manufacturer of monosodium glutamate (MSG), she wrote that the company "should be leading the way with compassion, not falling behind. Please, stop being spellbound by bad science and end these cruel tests immediately."[189]

Awards and nominations

Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
Ivor Novello Awards 2012 Herself The Ivors Inspiration Award Won [190]
MTV Video Music Awards 1989 "Peek-a-Boo" Best Post-Modern Video Nominated [191]
NME Awards 1980 Herself Best Female Singer Won [192]
1981 Won
1982 Won



Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2007 Mantaray 39 132

Solo singles

Year Single Peak positions Album
2007 "Into a Swan" 59 Mantaray
"Here Comes That Day" 93
2008 "About to Happen" 154
2015 "Love Crime" Single only

Collaborative singles

Year Single Artist Peak positions Album
1994 "Interlude" Morrissey & Siouxsie 25 Non-album single



Collaborations with other artists


In studio





  1. ^ Siouxsie is credited for playing tubular bells on "Obsession" in the inner sleeve of A Kiss in the Dreamhouse. (Polydor - POLD 5064)
    She is credited for playing piano on "Eve White / Eve Black" and "An Execution", guitars on "The Humming Wires" in the liner notes of Downside Up (Universal – 982 182-3)
    She is credited for both playing "instruments" and as co-producer on Boomerang (Polydor 841 463-1)
    She is credited for both playing bass / drone / zither and as a co-producer on Anima Animus (Sioux 4CD)
    She is credited as executive producer in the dvd Finale: The Last Mantaray & More Show (Fremantle Media 02058788HP)
    She is credited as co-producer of 13 singles on The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees (Universal 065 150-2).
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  22. ^ Macia, Peter (21 October 2010). "Read Our Interview With Ari Up from the Siouxsie Sioux/Shabba Ranks Icon Issue". The Fader. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
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  29. ^ Watson, Don. "Siouxsie's Sombrero Bolero". NME. 15 December 1984. "After Patti Smith's 'Horses', 'The Scream' is the best debut LP of all time. Was it 1978 or ten years on? From the underwater claustrophobia of its cover, through the fractured monochrome scenarios to the morbid fascination of 'Switch's' final flickers, its poetry in sound and splinters."
  30. ^ Savage, Jon (1 September 1979). "A Scream in a Vacuum [Join Hands – review]". Melody Maker.
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  33. ^ Petridis, Alexis. "The Guardian, 1000 albums to hear before you die" Archived 5 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Guardian.co.uk.21 November 2007. "Perennial masters of brooding suspense, the Banshees honed their trademark aloof art-rock to its hardest and darkest pitch on Juju. With their musical alchemy at its peak and Siouxsie at her most imperious, pop marvels such as Spellbound and Arabian Knights were poised, peerless exercises in magic realism that you could dance to." "Artists beginning with S". The Guardian. 21 November 2007. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  34. ^ Sutherland, Steve. "Awakening Dreams" [A Kiss in the Dreamhouse review]. Melody Maker. 6 November 1982. "The Banshees achieve an awesome, effective new pop without so much as a theory or qualm. "Dreamhouse" is an intoxicating achievement."
  35. ^ Cook, Richard (6 November 1982). "A kiss in the Dreamhouse review". NME. Rock's Backpages (subscription required). Archived from the original on 28 December 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
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  38. ^ "Right Now" was remastered in 1997 for The Bestiary of the Creatures
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  48. ^ Garcia, Sandra A. (April 1990), "Exposed Nerve", B-Side, Oh poor Anton! He came out and he's always worked in black and white, he's never liked colour. And we had such a shock cause he's going on 'oh yes, I want to work in colour, I've discovered colour'. And it was great, as he had started painting and had a good eye which was a surprise. We thought'd it be a shame if he dulled the colours, but instead they were almost poster-like", enthuses Siouxsie.
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  54. ^ Schwartz, Missy (17 December 2004). "Sioux City; New-wave goddess Siouxsie Sioux led the way for kick-ass frontwomen with bold style. And the Queen Banshee is still wailing". Entertainment Weekly. And what better way to do so than by recording the theme song to a big Hollywood movie, Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992). "I've always been a fan--Siouxsie is one of very few women who can create a realistic primal cat sound," quips the eccentric director, whose own striking style, not to mention that of characters like Edward Scissorhands, is arguably indebted to Sioux.
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  62. ^ Wratts, Peter. "Hai!" review. Time Out. "Her voice is the dominant instrument here, snaking and curling around the bouncing drumming backdrop, elegiac and inhuman as she chants, purrs and whispers her way around the album. The centrepiece is the tense, sensual, whirl of 'Tourniquet', a spellbinding nine minutes around which the rest of the album hangs, awed but not unbowed but it is presence. 'Landlocked/ wind and bind/you grind and grind', growls Siouxsie with a seductive sneer. It's a virile, sultry salute to lust and bondage, and will cure anybody of their hangover. A spine-tingling achievement."
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  92. ^ Lapatine, Scott. "Earlash". April 2004. Retrieved 1 October 2012. "EL: On previous albums you've used some left-field samples as a jumping off point to do something new and original. JM: Yeah, we've got Siouxsie and the Banshees on this record. It was Robin's idea." "Liquid Bird" featured a sample of Siouxsie and the Banshees's "Painted Bird" from the album A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.
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  96. ^ Neyland, Nick (28 March 2011). "The Weeknd's House of Balloons". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012. So here on the title track from that mixtape, we get a more-than-generous portion of Siouxsie and the Banshees' 1980 single "Happy House." which is worked into a softly anthemic slow-burn number full of diva-ish vocals tied to a chilly beat. John McGeoch's riff remains untouched and runs throughout most of the track, giving it a filmy pop feel that periodically peaks with a generous swipe from the "Happy House" chorus
  97. ^ Aswad, Jem (7 February 2021). "The Weeknd Wows With Hit-Filled Super Bowl Halftime Show". Variety.com. Retrieved 28 January 2023. During the brief interlude that segued into the final segment of the performance, dozens of millions of viewers were confronted with something that many wizening new wave fans would find almost impossible to imagine: hearing Siouxsie & the Banshees during the Super Bowl halftime performance. The Weeknd sampled the British postpunk group's 1980 song "Happy House" for the song "High for This" on his debut mixtape, but here it was just an interlude leading into the finale, which of course was his 2019 smash, "Blinding Lights
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  120. ^ "Dave Grohl: Hardcore, Nirvana And... Tears For Fears?". Mojo. 17 August 2017. Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018. my sister, Lisa, three years older, was getting seriously into new wave territory. We'd meet in the middle sometimes with Bowie and Siouxsie And The Banshees
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  124. ^ Rememberings - Sinéad O'Connor [autobiography]. Sandycove. 2022. ISBN 978-1844885411. For one reason or one reason alone, it was hell sharing that room in my father' house with her [ [her elder sister Eimear]. She was in love with Barry Manilow. So her side of the room was papered with massive posters of me while mine was all Siouxsie and the Banshees.
  125. ^ Gaisne Julien (April 2012). "Sinead O'Connor interview". Rolling Stone (French Version). No. 42. Q: Qui étaient tes artistes préférés quand tu as commencé? A:Bob Dylan, il l'est probablement toujours. Il y avait aussi David Bowie, Bob Marley, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Pretenders. (Translation) Q:Who were your favourite singers when you started? A:Bob Dylan, he probably still is. There were also David Bowie, Bob Marley, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Pretenders.
  126. ^ Thorn, Tracey (January 2014). Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star. Virago. ISBN 978-1-84408-868-3. My Heroines were Billie Holliday, Lesley Woods, Siouxsie, Nico and Astrud Gilberto. [...] [Morrissey] reminded me more of a male version of the female singers I liked – Patti Smith and Siouxsie – than any previous male rock star
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    Hagues, Chris (24 April 2014). "Interview:Brody Dalle". silentradio.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2018. I recently turned my daughter on to Siouxsie & The Banshee's, she loves Siouxsie, she says "I want to meet her
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    Durston, Melz (19 November 2016). "Joan As Police Woman Interview". Bristolinstereo. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2018. When I was a teenager, I'd listen to a radio program that happened late Sunday nights that featured music that wasn't getting played anywhere else. I would tape the shows onto a cassette and listen to them over and over. The Birthday Party, and Siouxsie Sioux.
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  • Paytress, Mark. Siouxsie & the Banshees: The Authorised Biography. Sanctuary, 2003. ISBN 978-1-86074-375-7
  • Johns, Brian. Entranced : the Siouxsie and the Banshees story. Omnibus Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-7119-1773-6

Further reading