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Deborah Anne Dyer (aka "Skin")
Life Span: Born 3rd August 1967, Brixton, London
Star Sign: Leo
Famous As: British Punk Rock singer

Career: Dyer took on the nickname 'Skin' when she and three fellow London musicians formed the band Skunk Anansie in 1994. Dyer met bass player Cass (Richard Keith Lewis) in an Ealing coffee bar. They later met guitarist Ace (Martin Ivor Kent), at the Splash club in Kings Cross, and drummer Mark Richardson at the Kerrang awards. The name 'Skunk Anansie' comes from two animals - the skunk, obviously, and a fictional spider from Jamaican folk stories.
The band was noted for its multi-racial talent, as well as Dyer's unconventional, energetic, hard-hitting vocals. Her official web biography says of her: "Skin was everything your traditional pallid frontman wasn't. For starters, she was female. She was also bald, black and searingly intelligent. Magazine editors swooned: here, at last, was a pop star who could articulate, who could hold her own corner, who could do more than shake maracas."
This was especially important at the time Skunk Anansie formed - it was the beginning of Britain's 'Britpop' phenomenon: Independent musicians, with a sense of individuality, were becoming highly favoured by a lucrative cross section of youth culture, over the ready-made commercial pop that had been topping the charts in the late 80s and early 90s. This was the music era of which Skunk Anansie became an important part.
They enjoyed success between 1994 and 2001, producing three albums; "Paranoid & Sunburnt", "Stoosh" and "Post Orgasmic Chill". The latter of the three sold over 4 million copies around the world.
After the band split in 2001, most of the members went on to start solo careers (apart from Mark Richardson, who became drummer for the band Feeder). Dyer's first solo album 'Fleshwounds' is said to have lost the interest of her Skunk Anansie fans by being a much toned down, gentler style of music. Her second album, 'Fake Chemical State' is due for release in March 2006 (at the time of writing). This new work has largely been overlooked in popular music, yet Dyer remains to many an icon of unconventionality and feminine honesty.

Friends & Relationships: Although her sexuality is widely referred to in the media, Dyer herself is often very shy of describing herself. This has led to some rather odd conclusions being drawn by the press, who choose to portray her in quite different ways than she actually sees herself, as this segment of an interview for a university student paper shows:
"As of late, Skunk has leaked into the American consciousness, propelled by an appearance in Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days. They have been called everything from punk to funk-rock to hard core. Skin, herself, has been likened to a giant punk queen: a lesbian (so they say), militant, aggressive, intensive female. The singer is a little perplexed with this image.
"The American press portrays me as this six-foot-five ass-kicker and then this lesbian thing keeps coming up and I read it and I think 'Who are they talking about?' Because they can't be talking about me," she shakes her head." (Tricia Romano, University of washington student newspaper).
Little is said about her relationships, and perhaps rightly so; who would want their love life written about in the media?

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