Singer, songwriter and sometime actress. Born
Toyah Ann Willcox on 18/5/58 in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Attended private
school (nickname "Barrel" due to weight problem), left aged 18 with one
O-level in Music. Accepted at B'ham Old Rep Drama School in '76, financing
way by working as a waitress, but soon landed main role in play for BBC2.
19, invited to London by National Theatre but
became more involved in punk explosion of '77 and featured (alongside Adam
Ant) in Derek Jarman's "punk" film Jubilee. Formed own band, Toyah,
later that year but didn't release first single ("Victims of the Riddle")
until March '79.
Continued acting career by making appearances
on TV (Shoestring and Tales Of The Unexpected) and stage
but big chart success eluded her until release of EP "4 From Toyah"
in '81, a Top Five hit. Despite slammings from the press, remains pop's
most popular female though much of this may be down to her own skills at
self marketing. Fired by an inexhaustible nervous energy, she openly admits:
"If I didn't advertise myself then I'd have a lot of free time and I don't
Smash Hits, 1982