Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto

Infobox musical artist
Name = Beth Ditto

Img_capt = Beth Ditto performing with The Gossip at Shepherds Bush Empire in London, 21 March 2008.
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1981|2|19
Died =
Origin = Searcy, Arkansas, United States of America
Instrument = Vocals
Genre = Indie rock
Punk blues
Occupation =
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts = Gossip
Notable_instruments =

Beth Ditto (born 19 February 1981 in Arkansas) is an American singer for the indie rock band The Gossip. [cite web|url=|title=Bio|accessdate=2008-03-06|publisher=The Gossip official website]


Ditto came to wider public attention in November 2006 when she was selected by "NME" as the coolest person in rock—being placed at number one in the magazine's annual "Cool List." The magazine cited her "non-conformity" as the reason for her selection - she is a lesbian, an outspoken advocate of gay rights, weighs 210 lbs and is also in a relationship with a transman. [cite web|url=|title=Why Beth Ditto is the coolest|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2006-11-22|author=Alex Needham|publisher=The Guardian] [cite web|url=|title=Lesbian singer is voted 'coolest' person in rock|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2006-11-22|author=Adam Sherwin|publisher=The Times] cite web|url=|title=Southern Firecracker: Beth Ditto|accessdate=2008-03-06|author=Marissa Pareles|publisher=Curve Magazine] [cite web|url=,,1961100,00.html|title=The next big thing|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2006-12-02|author=Simon Hattenstone|publisher=The Guardian]

The band's breakthrough song "Standing in the Way of Control" was written by Ditto as a response to her government's decision to deny LGBT couples marriage rights. "Nobody in the States was that surprised or shocked by what George W. Bush did, but it made everyone I know feel helpless and cheated," Ditto says. "I wrote the chorus to try and encourage people not to give up. It's a scary time for civil rights, but I really believe the only way to survive is to stick together and keep fighting." [cite web|url=|title=Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control|accessdate=2008-03-06|publisher=I Like Music]

Ditto was nominated for "Sexiest Woman Of The Year" at the NME Awards 2007 where she performed the Heaven 17 song "Temptation" with former Pulp frontman, Jarvis Cocker. She has also received criticism following a recent outburst in which she claimed that being the support band on the Scissor Sisters tour was "soul-sucking." [cite web|url=|title=Beth Ditto: 'Supporting Scissor Sisters was soul-sucking'|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2007-01-18|publisher=NME] However, in 2007 she appeared alongside Ana Matronic and Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters on the UK music show "Transmission", where they discussed touring together and how much they had all enjoyed it. She is placed #10 on's "Women Who Rock Right Now". [cite web|url=|title=Women Who Rock Right Now: No. 10|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2007-07-15|publisher=Spinner]

Recently she has refused to play in-store at Topshop stores citing her dissatisfaction with their clothes range not available in her size. She went as far as to offer to design clothes for them saying, "Give me the job. I want to design. I want you to make clothes for big girls - big boys. I want you to make big sizes."

Ditto posed nude for "On Our Backs", a women-run lesbian erotica magazine. "It was a big moment in my life," she told "Curve" magazine. "It was kind of a radical thing to do. I got my period just 10 minutes before we got there, and I was totally bleeding. I was doing it with my tranny boyfriend, who I’m in love with, and I was totally bleeding — how radical is that? — and I’m a fat person, and I’m a femme. It felt really good."

Ditto has recorded a solo album, produced by Calvin Johnson at his Dub Narcotic Studio. The album has not yet seen a commercial release. Ditto also recorded a duet with Johnson: the track "Lightning Rod For Jesus" appears on Johnson's 2002 solo album "What Was Me".

Ditto currently writes an advice column for British newspaper "The Guardian", appearing in its 'G2' section on Fridays, entitled "What Would Beth Ditto Do?"

Personal life

In an interview for NME magazine, she commented "I did eat squirrels when I was a kid, people in Arkansas just do - they'd think you were a freak if you ate squid there!" However, in a CNN profile she says it was not her but a cousin. [cite web|url=|title=The insiders guide to Beth Ditto|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2006-11-24|publisher=CNN]

She does not wear deodorant, or shave her armpits. "I think punks usually smell." she claims. [cite web|url=|title=Listen Up: I Don’t Think We’re In Kansas Anymore|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2006-11-20|publisher=psychoPEDIA]

She is close personal friends with Ana Matronic (from the band Scissor Sisters). They both appeared in interviews for the BBC's coverage of the Glastonbury festival on 24 June 2007.

She is an outspoken feminist, and once commented that "Women aren't cats, we aren't pets, we are just people trying to cross the freaking street to get an ice-cream." [cite web|url=,,2098486,00.html|title=What would Beth Ditto do?|accessdate=2008-03-06|date=2007-06-08|author=Beth Ditto|publisher=The Guardian]

She is a big fan of the band X-Ray Spex. When presenting the Friday Night Project, she sang a few lines from the Spex' track "Oh Bondage, Up Yours". Also, when discussing the upcoming Led Zeppelin concert, Beth Ditto said she couldn't care less about it and would prefer X-Ray Spex to reform.

She appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on BBC One on 28 September 2007.

She appeared on the cover of the December 2007/January 2008 cover of "Bust".

She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.


External links

* [ The Gossip website]
* [ BBC report of NME cool list]
* [ Subculture Magazine Interview]

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