Nora Forster, the wife of singer John Lydon, has died aged 80 after living with Alzheimer’s disease for several years.
The 67-year-old former Sex Pistols frontman, also known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, was his wife’s full-time carer following the diagnosis and raised awareness of the condition through his recent attempt to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023 with a song he dedicated to Forster.
A statement posted on Lydon’s Twitter, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Nora Forster – John Lydon’s wife of nearly five 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.”
Forster was the daughter of wealthy German publisher Franz Karl Maier who worked for news outlets including Der Spiegel and Der Tagesspiegel.
Lydon has said he first met Forster in 1975 at the late artist Malcolm McLaren’s clothing shop which he owned with Vivienne Westwood in London.
In January, Lydon told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that they had been together for 45 years.
His Eurovision bid song was titled Hawaii in tribute to a trip they took together, as he said it was a memory that stood out in her mind.
“And, oddly enough, as bad as Alzheimer’s is, there are great moments of tenderness between us. And I tried to capture that in the song, and so it’s not all waiting for the Grim Reaper.
“I can see her personality in her eyes, she lets me know that it’s the communication skills that are letting her down.
“And I’m just blessed really that I can be there and catch on to that and maybe share that information as this progresses, as we know it will, to its ultimate sad demise.
“Pass something useful on to other people. It’s a subject now that I’m so firmly tied up and wrapped up and connected to that I care now for all of its victims. Particularly to spouses that have to endure this.”
In the UK, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is the name for a group of symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain function, according to the NHS website.
The condition can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities.