Sophie Xeon, professionally known as SOPHIE, was a producer, musician, singer and DJ who died suddenly on Jan. 30, 2021. She was 34.
The avant-garde, Grammy-nominated pop star’s death was co-announced by the Scottish artist’s record labels, Transgressive and Future Classic. Transgressive published the following statement on its website, revealing that SOPHIE’s death stemmed from a “terrible accident.”
The statement said, “Tragically our beautiful Sophie passed away this morning after a terrible accident. True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell. She will always be here with us. The family thanks everyone for their love and support and requests privacy at this devastating time.”
SOPHIE was living in Athens, Greece, at the time of her death, as reported by The Guardian. Her management told the outlet that SOPHIE died at 4 a.m. local time on Saturday following a “sudden accident.”
The statement added that the artist was “a pioneer of a new sound” and “one of the most influential artists in the last decade. Not only for ingenious production and creativity but also for the message and visibility that was achieved. An icon of liberation.”
SOPHIE’s debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, was released in 2018, which earned her a 2019 Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
For the first years of SOPHIE’s career, she kept her true identity a secret. Born with the name Samuel Long, in 2017, she came out as a trans woman with the single, “It’s Okay to Cry.” The official music video on YouTube racked up more than two million views.
The futuristic pop star opened up about being transgender to Paper magazine in 2018. She said, “Transness is taking control to bring your body more in line with your soul and spirit so the two aren’t fighting against each other and struggling to survive. … It means you’re not a mother or a father — you’re an individual who’s looking at the world and feeling the world.”
SOPHIE, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, started releasing music at the age of 13. At 14, she gained a popular following after the release of the single, “Lemonade.”
“I think all pop music should be about who can make the loudest, brightest thing,” SOPHIE said in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone. “That, to me, is an interesting challenge, musically and artistically. And I think it’s a very valid challenge — just as valid as who can be the most raw emotionally. I don’t know why that is prioritized by a lot of people as something that’s more valuable. The challenge I’m interested in being part of is who can use current technology, current images and people, to make the brightest, most intense, engaging thing.”