John Lydon's wife Nora Forster dies aged 80

6 April 2023, 21:52 | Updated: 6 April 2023, 21:55

John Lyndon and Nora Foster attend the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
John Lyndon and Nora Foster attend the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Picture: CJ Rivera/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The former Sex Pistols frontman had been caring for his wife over the past few years as she battled Alzheimer's - and dedicated his Eurovision bid to their relationship.

John Lydon’s wife Nora Forster has died aged 80 after a lengthy Alzheimer’s battle.

The former Sex Pistols frontman became a primary carer for the German heiress after she was diagnosed with the disease in 2018, and recently spoken of his pain over watching her memory slip away as he launched a Eurovision song entry in her honour earlier this year.

The news was announced on Lydon's Twitter earlier today (6th April): “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.”

The statement added about John’s desire to grieve in peace: “Please respect John’s grief and allow him space. Rest in Peace Nora. Heart felt condolences to John from Rambo (John’s manager) and all at PiL Official.”

Lydon – whose mum was born in County Cork, while his dad is from Galway – lost his bid in February to represent their native Ireland at this year’s upcoming Eurovision contest with PiL and their track Hawaii.

He told The Sun before the loss, in an emotional interview during which he held back tears, about how the lyrics referenced Nora’s Alzheimer’s fight: “We 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... it is a song about the dissipation of a human being that I dearly love, in front of my very eyes.”

John added playing his music at their home in Venice Beach helps her remember who he is, and said she would say “Johnny” when she hears it.

Public Image Ltd (PiL) - Hawaii (official promo video)

He added Nora she knew it was him under the Jester outfit when he recently appeared on the US version of The Masked Singer, and joked: “She was quick to point me out and it wasn’t just because of the fake pot belly.”

The punk veteran added he became overcome with sadness when looking at the lyrics for the Hawaii track, which included the words “Remember me, I remember you”.

John added about his hope the song would help fellow carers and those going through hard times with loved ones: “It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most.

“It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.”

John Lydon and wife Nora Forster in the early 1980s
John Lydon and wife Nora Forster in the early 1980s. Picture: Alamy

Former actor, model and music promotor Nora, who was a German publishing heiress, and was being cared for by John at their LA home, worked with acts including Jimi Hendrix, Wishbone Ash and Yes, and financially supported bands such as The Slits, Sex Pistols and The Clash.

She and John met at the late Vivienne Westwood’s London clothes store, Sex, in 1975 and got married in Germany four years later.