In 2018, she released her debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, to widespread critical acclaim. Merging the high-energy abrasive hyperpop of her earlier work with moments of eerie, heartfelt balladry, the record was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Dance/Electronic Album category and topped the lists at many publications as one of the best albums of the year. More recently, it was ranked by Pitchfork as one of the greatest albums of the 2010s. Alongside the high praise for her album, Sophie was also a celebrated live performer, known for the raucous nature of her shows, which evolved to include dance routines and laser shows, while also providing a safe and inclusive space for her loyal queer following.
Her boundary-breaking take on the genre saw her work extensively with the similarly provocative pop maverick Charli XCX, and even caught the attention of Madonna, with whom she co-wrote the singer’s 2015 track “Bitch I’m Madonna.” Meanwhile, Sophie’s chameleonic style, which encompassed everything from glamorous vintage beaded gowns to futuristic femmebot latex, quickly saw her become a fashion muse too, most memorably with the music video for “It’s Okay To Cry” appearing as the backdrop to Nicolas Ghesquière’s spring 2020 collection for Louis Vuitton.
Most recently, Sophie had been living in Athens, Greece, where she died at home on Saturday morning. “At this time respect and privacy for the family is our priority,” her management also added. “We would also ask for respect for SOPHIE’s fanbase, and to treat the private nature of this news with sensitivity.”
Tributes have poured in from luminaries of the music world including Nile Rodgers, Christine and the Queens, and Sam Smith, with many from the LGBTQ+ community also sharing her significance as one of the most visible trans performers working in music over the past years. As the model and activist Munroe Bergdorf wrote on Twitter: “Our community has lost an icon, a pioneer and a visionary bright light.”