Nora Forster, John Lydon's wife, has died, aged 80

John Lydon and Nora Forster
(Image credit: CJ Rivera/FilmMagic)

Nora Forster, John Lydon's wife of 44 years, has died, aged 80.

Forster's passing was announced in a short statement, posted on the PiL vocalist's social media platforms. The statement reads:

'Rest in Peace Nora Forster.

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. Nora had been living with Alzheimer’s for several years. In which time John had become her full time carer. 

Please respect John's grief and allow him space.  

Rest in Peace Nora. Heart felt condolences to John from Rambo and all at PiL Official'

Lydon had been Forster's full time carer for a number of years. The couple lived in Los Angeles.

In January, PiL submitted the song Hawaii, a love letter to Lydon's wife of 44 years,  for the Irish heat of the 2023 Eurovision song contest.

"It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most," Lydon said in a statement. "It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all."

Ahead of the heat, which took place on February 3, Lydon explained the importance of the song in an interview with The Sun, saying “[Nora and I] spent a magnificent holiday in Hawaii after a tour once and it was just the greatest week of our lives. Now her memories are fading, I wanted to bring something like that back to her. I get broke up even thinking about it.”

Although Public Image failed to secure the Irish nomination, judge Gemma Bradley praised Lydon for raising awareness of the disease with his entry: "It is very important to speak about these things," she said. "It's real life. I really want to commend him on that performance."

German-born Forster was working as a music promoter in London in the 1970s when she met Lydon, and the couple were married in 1979. Her daughter, Ari, fronted punk band The Slits.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.