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Toyah

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King's Heath, Birmingham, England (1977 – present)

Toyah (born Toyah Ann Willcox on 18 May 1958 in King’s Heath, Birmingham, England) is an English actress and singer. In a career spanning more than thirty years, Toyah has had 13 Top 40 singles, released 22 studio albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays and ten feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows, including Brum, Watchdog and Songs of Praise.

She attended Edgbaston C of E College where she gained a GCE pass in music and trained as an actress at the Old Rep Drama School in her home town of Birmingham. Toyah’s father ran successful joinery businesses.

She first became well-known during the punk rock era, her appearances in Derek Jarman’s 1977 film Jubilee and 1979’s Who album-inspired Quadrophenia launching her as a provocative and anti-establishment figure, an image she eventually abandoned.

Fronting a band known as Toyah, her singing career was slow to take off and the band released six singles in the UK before finally hitting the charts in 1981, with “It’s A Mystery” and “I Want To Be Free”. These singles were also successful on an international level. In 1982, she was voted Best Female Singer at the British Rock and Pop Awards — since restyled as The BRIT Awards, or “BRITs” — and in 1986 she married UK guitarist Robert Fripp. She was one of the first acts to score regularly in the UK Singles Chart with EPs. Also in 1986, Willcox sang lead on the Tony Banks track “Lion of Symmetry”. In 1987 she made the top fifty with her version of “Echo Beach”.

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  • TravelOrange

    That woman sure was a fav in my wet dreams way back then.. Babsy, my cousin´s vinyl - can´t find the LP Anthem right now? It was her who brought me to Prince as well. "Obsolete" "I Am" wow, gives me shivers, rembering the impact her songs had on me!! Future Cyberpunk stuff

    17 Jun 4:42pm Reply
  • drownedinsound2

    Loved Toyah! Member this?-->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzEzwmAzZBs Brilliant!! : )

    9 Apr 12:28am Reply
  • Mozzerella10

    she's all like "yeaaah. can you TELL what era i'm from?"

    10 Dec 2012 Reply
  • janisftw

    so. fucking. underrated.

    15 Apr 2012 Reply
  • thetrogg

    Florence Welch

    7 Jan 2012 Reply
  • thetrogg

    similar artists gary numan and bucks fizz! soft cell and dollar! when it should be zola jesus and whatshername

    7 Jan 2012 Reply
  • hyperballadbrad

    Saw Toyah live in Manchester last night... she was GREAT!

    31 Oct 2011 Reply
  • rainy-dog

    proh-proh-prostitute

    16 Apr 2011 Reply
  • hyperballadbrad

    A friend of mine sent me her entire discography on dvds... so lucky!! WIll definately invest in her too when I process her work more. She's really underrated

    7 Apr 2011 Reply
  • undrentide72

    I gotta say id always dismissed toyah as a post punk puppet, but having heard sheep farming in barnet and anthem ive been totally blown away, the music is amazing! She definately deserves to be up with Siouxsie as one of the icons of the late 70's early 80's pioneers....

    9 Mar 2011 Reply
  • BeetleJuice1993

    Mrs. Fripp <3

    12 Aug 2010 Reply
  • nufcgirl

    i have been a fan of toyah since 1979 and have never got bored of her. i saw her in margate back in the 80s and was completely blown away what a fantastic artist.

    11 Aug 2010 Reply
  • frb12

    super! je ne connaissais pas et suis agréablement surprise!

    1 Aug 2010 Reply
  • DerekRogers

    Come see Toyah at the Flashback to the 80's event on the 20th August. Here's the link: http://www.last.fm/event/1573585+Flashback+to+the+80%27s. Don't forget to join our facebook group. We have a competition on at the moment to win a pair of tickets! Other 80's acts playing as well. See you there!

    16 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Ryan_Slade

    I am 16,and I can say Toyah is one of my favorite bands at the moment.

    14 May 2010 Reply
  • JDonovan

    Recent interview with Toyax Wilcox at Midlands Rocks: http://www.midlandsrocks.co.uk/features-interviews/articles/toyahwillcox

    16 Apr 2010 Reply
  • avant-garde83

    she's the female bowie! +1

    11 Apr 2010 Reply
  • kidAutism

    her voice! she's the female bowie!

    25 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Nodisguise

    Quite shocking how few plays Toyah currently has, particularly considering how big she was in the early 80s. My first gig was Toyah in Belfast in 1981. Support was Fad Gadget.

    5 Oct 2009 Reply
  • postman42

    i saw her in concert GUILDFORD CIVIC HALL about 1981 she played a small part in quadraphenia ,the famous film about mods and rockers also starred STING as Bellboy great album by the WHO .

    14 Apr 2009 Reply
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