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Beth Ditto
Beth Ditto - 2018153161803 2018-06-02 Rock am Ring - 1D X MK II - 0241 - B70I1548 (cropped).jpg
Ditto performing in 2018
Background information
Birth name Mary Beth Patterson
Born (1981-02-19) February 19, 1981 (age 43)
Origin Judsonia, Arkansas, U.S.
Genres Indie rock, post-punk, synthpop
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active 1999–present (singer)
2016–present (actress)
Labels Virgin
Associated acts Gossip

Mary Beth Patterson (born February 19, 1981), known by her stage name Beth Ditto, is an American singer and songwriter most notable for her work with the indie rock band Gossip. Her voice has been compared to Etta James, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. She disbanded Gossip to pursue a career in fashion, and has since started a solo career.

Life and career

Ditto grew up in a poor family in Arkansas in the southern United States, with her mother, various stepfathers, and six siblings – two older brothers, an older sister, two younger brothers and a younger sister. She grew up Southern Baptist and Pentecostal, but is now an atheist. At age 13, she moved out of her mother's house and went to live with her aunt. She moved to Olympia, Washington in 1999; then to Portland, Oregon in 2003, where she lives as of 2014. At 18, she discovered bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Raincoats and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

She fronted the band Gossip from its formation in 1999 until its dissolution in 2016. In addition, she has been involved in other musical projects. In 2008, she contributed vocals to the Crisis charity single "Consequences", a collaboration between various artists. In 2009, she sang on Simian Mobile Disco's track "Cruel Intentions" for their album of collaborations Temporary Pleasure. In 2011, she released her own 4-track Beth Ditto EP, produced by James Ford and Jas Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco, on the re-launched Deconstruction Records. She sang on Blondie's "A Rose by Any Name" from their 2013 album Ghosts of Download. Harrod Horatia, writing in The Telegraph, has said, "Where the stripped-down three-piece Gossip play propulsive, garage band blues, Ditto's own stuff is melancholic, soulful dance music, inspired by 'Eighties disco soul jams' that she loves, and the up-tempo pop-R&B of I Wanna Dance With Somebody-era Whitney Houston."

Ditto, who is openly queer, is well known for her outspoken support of both lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), and feminist causes. She has been an advocate for large women being body-positive and has been regularly photographed as an editorial model. She is known for her stage dances and her unique and revealing image. She classes herself as a punk, and thus neither uses deodorant nor shaves under her armpits, having once remarked, "I think punks usually smell." She has cited Cyndi Lauper and Boy George as overall influences and Grace Jones and Peggy Moffitt as her beauty icons. She also stated: "Artists I love, like Siouxsie Sioux and Patti Smith, have such radically different ways of embodying femininity, but they're both amazing punk women. The true heart of feminism isn't about meeting other people's expectations around your body or your gender."

Beth Ditto Cannes 2010
Ditto at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival

In 2007–2008, Ditto contributed a fortnightly advice column on body image to The Guardian newspaper entitled 'What would Beth Ditto do?'.

Ditto launched her first plus-size collection for women's clothing retailer Evans on July 9, 2009, in collaboration with head of design Lisa Marie Peacock. Ditto provided sketches and drew inspiration from her favourite vintage and charity shop clothes as well as bands like Blondie and Grace Jones, and Art Deco movements. Her second collection for Evans launched in 2010 with just over 20 individual items. Marianne Kirby, writing in The Guardian, said the "collection struck a nerve with its iconic pieces" and that it was an "international success".

She opened (modeled) and closed the Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2011 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week in October 2010.

In June 2012 Ditto collaborated with MAC Cosmetics to create a make up collection.

Ditto released her memoir in 2012 called Coal to Diamonds, which she co-wrote with Michelle Tea. It was positively reviewed in The Guardian and NME.

In July 2013, Ditto married her girlfriend and best friend since she was 18, Kristin Ogata, in Maui, Hawaii. Both were outfitted entirely in white for the occasion; Ditto wore a gown by Jean Paul Gaultier and went barefoot while Ogata wore a jacket, a shirt, shorts, and shoes.

In December 2014, seventeen months after the two first walked down the aisle in a wedding, the couple legally married in their home state of Oregon, having to wait until same-sex marriage became legal there to make their marriage official.

Ditto confirmed the split of the band Gossip to pursue a career in fashion and her solo career in 2016.

In an interview in March 2018, Ditto announced that she and her wife had split and she was dating musician Ted Kwo.

In 2018, Ditto made her film acting debut in Gus Van Sant's Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. The following year she was cast in On Becoming a God in Central Florida, a Showtime series starring Kirsten Dunst.


Books by Ditto

  • Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir Co-written with Michelle Tea.
    • New York, NY: Spiegel & Grau, 2012. ISBN: 978-0385525916. Hardback.
    • London: Simon & Schuster UK, 2012. ISBN: 978-1847372161. Hardback.
    • London: Simon & Schuster UK, 2013. ISBN: 978-1847392466. Paperback.

Books with contributions by Ditto

  • Riot Grrrl: Revolution Girl Style Now! by Nadine Monem. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-906155-01-8. Ditto contributes an introduction.


Beth Ditto performing with Gossip at the Commodore Ballroom
Ditto performing with Gossip in 2009
Beth Ditto - Gossip - Roskilde Festival 2012
Ditto in 2012


Year Title Peak positions
2017 Fake Sugar 89 51 24 80 11 47

Extended plays

Year Title Peak positions
US Dance
2011 EP 9 86 67 78 45


Year Title Peak
2008 "Temptation"
(with Jarvis Cocker)
Non-album single
(charity single)
2011 "I Wrote the Book" 76
6 89 24 59 EP
2017 "Fire" 93
Fake Sugar
As featured artist
2008 "Consequences"
(Crisis featuring Beth Ditto, Paul Weller, The Enemy, Supergrass and many more)
Non-album single
(charity single)
2010 "Cruel Intentions"
(Simian Mobile Disco featuring Beth Ditto)
Temporary Pleasure
2013 "A Rose by Any Name"
(Blondie featuring Beth Ditto)
Ghosts of Download
2014 "Running Low"
(Netsky featuring Beth Ditto)
80 1 100 non-album single

Songs performed on Monarch

  • "Family Tradition" (with Joshua Sasse, Anna Friel and Iñigo Pascual)
  • "How Do I Live" (with Anna Friel)
  • "The Card You Gamble" (with Anna Friel)
  • "Juice"
  • "God Knows"
  • Always on My Mind" (with Trace Adkins)


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Nocturnal Animals TV Woman Voice No. 2
2018 Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Reba
2019 On Becoming a God in Central Florida Bets Gomes Main cast
2022 Monarch Gigi Taylor-Roman Main cast

Awards and nominations

  • 2006 – NME – Cool List – Won
  • 2007 – Stonewall Awards – Hero of the Year – Nominated
  • 2007 – Virgin Media Music Awards – Legend of the Year – Nominated
  • 2007 – PLUG Awards – Female Artist of the Year – Nominated
  • 2008 – Glamour Awards – International Artist of the Year – Won
  • 2017 – Gay Music Chart Awards – Best Lyric Video for "In and Out" – Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Beth Ditto para niños

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