updated 04/22/2013 AT 9:55 AM ET
•originally published 04/22/2013 AT 10:05 AM ET
Chrissy Amphlett, the lead singer of the Divinyls, whose hit song “I Touch Myself” made the group an international success, died at her New York City home on Sunday. She was 53 years old.
“Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity,” her husband, musician Charley Drayton, said in a statement.
“Chrissy’s light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity. She always lived it to the fullest. With her force of character and vocal strength, she paved the way for strong, sexy, outspoken women,” he said.
In 1980, Amphlett formed the Divinyls with musicians Mark McEntee and Jeremy Paul. The band would go on to release six albums between 1982 and 1996. In 1991, the single “I Touch Myself” topped the charts, reaching No. 1 in Amphlett’s native Australia and No. 4 in the United States.
A talented actress, Amphlett also played Judy Garland in the original production of The Boy from Oz, World News Australia reports.
In 2007, Amphlett announced she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Then in 2010, she revealed she had also been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Russell Crowe – who starred opposite Amphlett in 1998’s Blood Brothers – Tweeted his condolences on Monday.
“Dear Chrissie, The last time I saw you was in the Botanic Gardens, loving life and reciting verse. That’s how I’ll remember you, your boy, R,” he wrote.
Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) April 22, 2013