Author(s): Beth Ditto
'My life was supposed to be simple and non-negotiable: birth, church, work, marriage, kids, death. But along the way something happened. COAL INTO DIAMONDS is my story - growing up feeling like you are on the margins of society and struggling to find your place. My memoir talks directly to disenfranchised, misunderstood kids everywhere' Beth Ditto is known for her remarkable voice (which has been compared to Etta James and Janice Joplin), her talent ('fuckin immense' - Noel Gallagher) and her forthright rejection of what a pop singer should look like. As a 5 foot, 15 stone gay singer, Beth was never going to be ignored but her talent plus her exuberant opinions have made her a heroine for the alternative music scene. Beth grew up in the Bible-belt town of Searcy, Arkansas as the middle child of seven. She says they were a classic trailer-park family, 'crazy poor', who sometimes shot and ate squirrels for entertainment. Beth realised she wasn't cut out for a life of 'teenage pregnancy or crystal meth addiction', and after years of being bullied for being fat and loud, she managed to get away to Olympia, Washington State, where she immediately found like-minded people. It was this move that opened her eyes to another way of living - one where you were not judged for how you looked, but who you were, and where your talents were encouraged. COAL INTO DIAMONDS tells the full story of Beth's journey to success and fulfilment. She has never forgotten how it is to be an outsider and shares her homespun wisdom as well as many wonderful stories of her misspent youth before her song 'Standing in the Way of Control' became an anthem for alternative music fans the world over.
Beth Ditto is the lead singer of Gossip. She lives in Portland Oregon.