Ex-Sex Pistols singer John Lydon’s wife, Nora Forster who has been living with Alzheimer’s since 2018, has passed away. Her death was announced by Lydon’s band Public Image Ltd.
Lydon had recently performed a new song, “Hawaii,” in the Eurovision 2023 contest that was inspired by her.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Nora Forster – John Lydon’s wife of nearly 5 decades – has passed away,” the band posted on its official Twitter page. “Nora had been living with Alzheimer’s for several years. In which time John had become her full time carer.”
Lydon, the former Sex Pistols singer, had become an outspoken advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness after he put his career on hold several years ago – including the cancellation of plans for an Public Image album in 2020 – to serve as Forster’s full-time caretaker.
In January, Lydon and Public Image Ltd competed to represent Ireland in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest with Lydon’s new song “Hawaii.”
At the time, he said in a statement:
“It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most. It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.”
Public Image lost its Eurovision bid to Dublin band Wild Youth. In a February interview with London’s Sunday Times, Lydon reflected on the impact of his wife’s illness.
“All the things I thought were the ultimate agony seem preposterous now. It’s shaped me into what I am. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I don’t see how I can live without her. I wouldn’t want to. There’s no point.”
Forster, a publishing heiress from Germany, was the mother of punk singer Ari Up, the vocalist for the influential band the Slits who died of breast cancer in 2010. Lydon and Forster became legal guardians of Up’s sons in 2010.