This American singer and songwriter is known by the stage name Beth Ditto and notable for her work with the indie rock band Gossip. The electrifying artist describes herself as a fat, feminist lesbian from Arkansas and has been said to have a voice as strong as that of Tina Turner, Etta James and Janis Joplin.
Beth Ditto’s Bio
Beth Ditto was actually born as Mary Beth Patterson on February 19, 1981, in Arkansas (southeastern region of the United States). Ditto didn’t have one of the best childhood, not just because she was born into a poor family that lived in a tiny house in Searcy, but also of the many stepfathers, siblings and travels she had to deal, relate with and as well endure.
She, alongside her six siblings (three older and three younger), was raised as Southern Baptist and Pentecostal. At the young age of thirteen, she had to move out of the house to go live with her aunt. In 1999, she moved to Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon in 2003 where she lived till 2004.
Ditto got married to her longtime girlfriend Kristin Ogata in 2013. The duo got married in an all-white occasion which took place in Maui, Hawaii. Seventeen months later, they legally married in their home state of Oregon after waiting so long for same-sex marriage to become legal there.
At 18, after being influenced by bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Raincoats, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, Beth Ditto teamed up with guitarist Nathan Howdeshell (aka Brace Paine) and drummer Hannah Blilie to form the Gossip in 1999.
Their breakthrough came in 2006 with the release of their album Standing in the Way of Control, which was followed up by Music for Men, which came in 2009. The band eventually broke-up in 2016 but before they went their separate ways, their last album as a group A Joyful Noise was released in 2012. The band played a mix of post-punk revival, indie rock as well as dance-rock. In the same year, Gossip disbanded, Ditto released her memoir, Coal to Diamonds, which was co-written with Michelle Tea.
Beth’s career didn’t start and end with the Gossip, she was also a part of other musical projects like the Crisis charity single Consequences project where she partnered with other artists to lend her vocal to raise funds for a homeless charity.
In 2010, she collaborated with Simian Mobile Disco on the album Temporary Pleasure, where she sang in the track Cruel Intentions. In 2013, she sang on Blondie’s A Rose by Any Name – a track from the 2013 album Ghosts of Download.
In 2017, she made a solo debut with the single Fire. The song was a mixture of punk, pop, and disco which she had explored with the Gossip, a little of her Southern roots was also seen in the album.
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Other Facts You Must Know About Her
There are numerous other facts to know about Beth Ditto and one of them is her sexual orientation. She is a lesbian who is popularly known for her unhidden support for the LGBT community. In fact, the album Standing in the Way of Control which was written by Ditto is said to be a response to the U.S. government’s ban on gay marriage.
Ditto is also a strong supporter of feminists and gender-related causes. She advocates that plus-sized women should be proud and positive about themselves.
After being named by NME in 2007 as the coolest person in rock, she posed nude on the cover of the music magazine. She was also nude on the covers of erotica magazine On Our Backs and London style bible Love.
Beth Ditto describes herself as a punk, and thus she neither uses deodorant nor shaves her armpits.
Her Beauty icons are Peggy Moffitt and Grace Jones. She said her greatest influences are Boy George and Cyndi Lauper and that her favourite song of all time is X-Ray Spex’s Oh Bondage Up Yours!
The rock star also has some fashion lines/brands. In 2009, Ditto, in collaboration with head of design Lisa Marie Peacock, launched her first plus-size collection for women’s clothing retailer Evans, her second collection was launched in 2010. In 2012, in collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, she launched a makeup collection.
During the 2010 Paris Fashion Week, she opened and closed the Jean Paul Gaultier spring.
She was arrested in 2013 for standing in the way of a car. According to reports, a bartender allegedly refused her another shot after she appeared to be too inebriated to handle another cocktail, she walked out in the middle of the street, threw off her shoes and purse and began screaming, ‘Obama! Obama!’ as friends tried to put her in a car.