Transgender icon and pioneering electronic music producer Sophie fell to her death Saturday morning in Athens in “a terrible accident,” her label said in a statement. She was 34.
“Tragically our beautiful Sophie passed away this morning,” London-based Transgressive Records wrote in a message shared on Twitter.
“True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell,” the statement added, without providing any other details.
Sophie’s publicist, Ludovica Ludinatrice, confirmed the news in a statement .
“It is with profound sadness that I have to inform you that musician and producer Sophie passed away this morning around 4 a.m. in Athens, where the artist had been living, following a sudden accident,” Ludinatrice said.
The Scottish-born music producer, whose full name was Sophie Xeon, first made her mark in the business by bringing her underground pop futuristic sound into the mainstream.
Throughout her short, but prolific career, she worked with major artists — such as Madonna, Charlie XCX and Kim Petras — and was also nominated for a Grammy for best dance/electronic album, for the release of her debut album, the critically acclaimed “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides,” from 2018.
“Sophie has crafted a genuinely original sound and uses it to visit extremes of terror, sadness and pleasure,” a reviewer in The Guardian gushed at the time.
In 2018 she appeared on the cover of Paper magazine for its Pride issue, when discussed her music, and how “embracing being a trans girl” affected her life.
She was excited about where the music business was headed, saying that, “the people that have the loudest voices that need to be heard are gonna be the ones we’re gonna be listening to, and not the voices of people manipulating them from whatever sources of power they have.”
Sophie, who for years was just a name behind major pop acts, said that coming out as trans was ultimately a reclamation of her identity.
“It means there’s no longer an expectation based on the body you were born into, or how your life should play out and how it should end,” she said. “Traditional family models and structures of control disappear.”
Tributes to the musician exalted her power as an avant-garde artist, who broke the rules and paved the way for many to come.
“The world has lost an angel. A true visionary and icon of our generation,” multi-Grammy winner Sam Smith tweeted. “Your light will continue to inspire so many for generations to come,” they added.
French singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens descried Sophie as “a stellar producer, a visionary, a reference (who) rebelled against the narrow, normative society by being an absolute triumph, both as an artist and as a woman.”
“We need to honor and respect her memory and legacy. Cherish the pioneers,” she added.
Grammy Award-winning producer Nile Rodgers wrote that Sophie was “one of the most innovative, dynamic, and warm persons I had the pleasure of working with” at an event in the U.K. in 2019.