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Legendary Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale has died aged 83

Legendary Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale has died aged 83

Her family confirmed she died yesterday

The legendary Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale has died at the age of 83.

Her family announced in a statement: "Annie Nightingale MBE passed away yesterday (11 January) at her home in London after a short illness.

"Annie was a pioneer, trailblazer and an inspiration to many.

"Her impulse to share that enthusiasm with audiences remained undimmed after six decades of broadcasting on BBC TV and radio globally."

Nightingale was the first female presenter on BBC Radio 1 back in 1970 and was the only woman on the line-up for 12 years.

Nightingale was a legendary DJ.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The DJ was its longest-serving broadcaster and even earned the Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a female radio host.

Nightingale was initially rejected a job as Radio 1 DJ for being a woman but after three years was finally given the chance to audition by her friends, The Beatles.

The statement continued: "Never underestimate the role model she became. Breaking down doors by refusing to bow down to sexual prejudice and male fear gave encouragement to generations of young women who, like Annie, only wanted to tell you about an amazing tune they had just heard.

"Watching Annie do this on television in the 1970s, most famously as a presenter on the BBC music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, or hearing her play the latest breakbeat techno on Radio One is testimony to someone who never stopped believing in the magic of rock 'n' roll. A celebration of her life will take place in the Spring at a Memorial Service.

She was the first Radio 1 female DJ.
Peter Stone/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

"The family request privacy at this time. Alex, Lucy, Ollie and Will."

Nightingale was well-known for her absolute passion for all kinds of music from 'prog rock and punk to acid house and grime'.

The radio star remained on air until late last year with Annie Nightingale Presents.

She is credited with helping pace the way for the likes of Sara Cox and Zoe Ball and helped launch many artists careers - hailed as a trailblazer by many.

In 2021, a scholarship for female and non-binary dance music DJs was launched by BBC Radio 1 and named after Nightingale.

As the news broke during today's Radio 1 show, hosts Matt Edmondson and Mollie King recognised her 'passion for new music' and acknowledged her as 'part of musical history', labelling her a 'legend' and an 'icon'.

In her honour, they played Primal Scream's 'Loaded' which they say is 'synonymous' with Nightingale.

Featured Image Credit: Sydney O'Meara/Getty/Dave M Bennett/Getty

Topics: BBC, Celebrity, Music