Beth Ditto

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Beth Ditto
Ditto performing in 2018
Ditto performing in 2018
Background information
Birth nameMary Beth Patterson
Born (1981-02-19) February 19, 1981 (age 42)
OriginJudsonia, Arkansas, U.S.[1]
GenresIndie rock, post-punk, synthpop
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1999–present (singer)
2016–present (actress)

Mary Beth Patterson[3] (born February 19, 1981),[4] known by her stage name Beth Ditto, is an American singer and songwriter most notable for her work with the indie rock band Gossip.[5] Her voice has been compared to Etta James, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.[6] She disbanded Gossip to pursue a career in fashion, and has since started a solo career. In 2022, she portrayed country singer Gigi Roman on the Fox drama series Monarch.

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.[6] At age 13, she moved out of her mother's house and went to live with her aunt.[7][8] She moved to Olympia, Washington in 1999;[9] then to Portland, Oregon in 2003, where she lives as of 2014.[10] At 18, she discovered bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Raincoats and Siouxsie and the Banshees.[11]

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."[7]

Ditto, who is openly queer, is well known for her outspoken support of both lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), and feminist causes.[12][13] 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."[14] She has cited Cyndi Lauper and Boy George as overall influences and Grace Jones and Peggy Moffitt as her beauty icons.[15] 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."[16] She considers her favorite song to be "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" by X-Ray Spex.

She courted mild controversy in 2006 when she claimed to have eaten squirrels as a child.[17]

In 2007–2008, Ditto contributed a fortnightly advice column on body image to The Guardian newspaper entitled 'What would Beth Ditto do?'.[18][19]

In 2007 she was featured posed nude on the front cover of music magazine NME.[1] Germaine Greer, writing in The Guardian, said the magazine had "enough courage to put the coolest woman on the planet on the cover" whilst acknowledging its limits. Greer also praised Ditto for her motives, saying her "intention is to force acceptance of her body type, 5 ft [1.5 m] tall and 15 stone [210 lb; 95 kg], and by this strategy to challenge the conventional imagery of women".[20] In February 2009 bi-annual British style magazine Love featured Ditto posed nude on the front cover of its premiere issue, with prominent public advertising. Emily Hill, writing in The Guardian, was cynical of Love magazine's intentions, writing that "Beth Ditto on Love magazine is not evidence of fashion's new acceptance, but a diversion before emaciated normality returns".[21]

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, The Slits and Grace Jones, and Art Deco movements.[22][23] 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".[24]

She opened (modeled) and closed the Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2011 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week in October 2010.[7][25]

In June 2012 Ditto collaborated with MAC Cosmetics to create a make up collection.[15]

Ditto released her memoir in 2012 called Coal to Diamonds, which she co-wrote with Michelle Tea.[26] It was positively reviewed in The Guardian[27] and NME.[28]

Ditto confirmed the split of the band Gossip to pursue a career in fashion and her solo career in 2016.[29]

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.[30]

Personal life

In July 2013, Ditto married her girlfriend and best friend since she was 18,[31] 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.[32][33]

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,[34] having to wait until same-sex marriage became legal there to make their marriage official.[34]

In an interview in March 2018, Ditto announced that she and her wife had split and she was dating musician Ted Kwo.[35] Earlier that month, she addressed how her relationship with Kwo, who is an openly transgender man, has urged her to consider the privileges of being perceived as a straight woman. In particular, she spoke about the sharp difference in how she was treated when she was with Ogata: "I was always really afraid, I was always really protective. Straight privilege is real."[36]


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


Ditto performing with Gossip


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


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 – NMECool List – Won[53]
  • 2007 – Stonewall Awards – Hero of the Year – Nominated[54]
  • 2007 – NME Awards – Sexiest Woman 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[55]


  1. ^ "Beth Ditto (1981–)". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  2. ^ "Virgin Records' Beth Ditto Announces New Album". Virgin Records. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Lopez, Korina (March 19, 2013). "The Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto drunk, arrested". USA Today. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  4. ^ "Beth Ditto". emusic. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Bio". The Gossip official website. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "The insiders guide to Beth Ditto". CNN. November 24, 2006. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Harrod, Horatia (February 21, 2011). "Beth Ditto: the punk 'it' girl". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  8. ^ Jane Bussman interviewing Ditto, 'Queen Beth', The Sunday Times (London), February 4, 2007, Features; Style; Pg. 10.
  9. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (July 6, 2012). "Q&A: Beth Ditto". The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  10. ^ Ditto, Beth (December 15, 2007). "The friendliest big little city in America". The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Videtti, Giuseppe . "Beth Ditto interview". March 26, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2012. "At 18 I discovered Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Raincoats and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The mainstream"
  12. ^ Beth Ditto (June 8, 2007). "What would Beth Ditto do?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  13. ^ Ditto, Beth (May 30, 2021). "Beth Ditto: 'Seeing Boy George was like coming home'". the Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  14. ^ "Listen Up: I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore". psychoPEDIA. November 20, 2006. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  15. ^ a b Nika, Colleen (June 1, 2012). "Beth Ditto Turns Adventurous Personal Style Into Bold MAC Cosmetics Collection". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  16. ^ Hanra, Hanna (January 27, 2016). "Beth Ditto on Why Makeup Is the Heart of Feminism—And There's No Such Thing as Ugly". Vogue. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Kharas, Kev (November 24, 2006). "Gossip or fact? Beth Ditto used to eat squirrels?! / Music News // Drowned In Sound". Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  18. ^ "What would Beth Ditto do?". The Guardian. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  19. ^ "What Would Beth Ditto Do?". The Guardian. London. April 27, 2007. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
  20. ^ Greer, Germaine (May 31, 2007). "Well done, Beth Ditto. Now let it all hang out". The Guardian. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  21. ^ Hill, Emily (February 19, 2009). "Fat's all folks". The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  22. ^ Alexander, Hilary (July 6, 2009). "Beth Ditto's collection for Evans". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on July 8, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  23. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (July 5, 2009). "'Everything that you think is weird is normal to me'". The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  24. ^ Kirby, Marianne (September 21, 2010). "Beth Ditto collection reveals gap in the fat fashion market". The Guardian. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  25. ^ "Jean Paul Gaultier – Spring/Summer 2011 ready-to-wear show". Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  26. ^ Lambda Literary 'Coal to Diamonds' by Beth Ditto and Michelle Tea
  27. ^ Empire, Kitty (October 21, 2012). "Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto – review". The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  28. ^ Perry, Kevin (October 26, 2012). "Book Review: Beth Ditto – 'Coal To Diamonds'". NME. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  29. ^ Jillian, Mapes (February 19, 2016). "Beth Ditto Stays Radically Fat With New Clothing Line and Solo Career". Pitchfork. Pitchfork. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  30. ^ Barton, Laura (October 24, 2018). "Beth Ditto: 'I don't think I can act. I'm just really good at talking'". The Guardian. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  31. ^ Clark, Alex (May 6, 2012). "Beth Ditto: 'I'm constantly learning how to be confident'". The Guardian. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  32. ^ "The Gossip's Beth Ditto is talk of the town: Singer marries long-term girlfriend Kristin Ogata". The Independent. July 24, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  33. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (July 24, 2013). "Beth Ditto Of Gossip Marries Kristin Ogata, Longtime Girlfriend, In Hawaiian Wedding". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  34. ^ a b "'Legally married!' Beth Ditto celebrates official nuptials in Oregon... 17 months after marrying Kristin Ogata in Hawaii". MSN News. January 6, 2015. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  35. ^ Tom Lanham (March 21, 2018). "Gossip's Beth Ditto goes for guitars on solo album". The San Francisco Examiner. Archived from the original on February 3, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  36. ^ "Beth Ditto On Turning Real Heartbreak Into "Fake Sugar" | NewNowNext". Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  37. ^ "Riot Grrrl Revolution Girl Style Now! Archived 2011-09-10 at the Wayback Machine", Black Dog Publishing.
  38. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #426". auspOp. June 24, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  39. ^ a b "Discografie Beth Ditto". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  40. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 25, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved June 27, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  41. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 25 (dal 2017-06-16 al 2017-06-22)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  42. ^ a b c "Discographie Beth Ditto –" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  43. ^ "Beth Ditto | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  44. ^ "Beth Ditto: Top Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard.
  45. ^ "The ARIA Report: Issue 1098" (PDF). August 23, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  46. ^ a b " – Discography Beth Ditto" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  47. ^ a b "Beth Ditto". (in German). GfK Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  48. ^ CHART: CLUK Update 1.03.2008 (wk8)
  49. ^ Charts Stats "Charts Stats – Beth Ditto – EP", Charts Stats – UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive, March 13, 2011, accessed March 15, 2011.
  50. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés – SNEP (Week 25, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  51. ^ CHART: CLUK Update 10.05.2008 (wk18)
  52. ^ CHART: CLUK Update 26.12.2009 (wk51)
  53. ^ "Women top list of music's coolest". BBC News. November 22, 2006. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  54. ^ "Nominees for Stonewall Awards announced - from Pink News - all the latest gay news from the gay community - Pink News". Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  55. ^ "Gay Music Chart: Gay Music Chart Awards 2017 : The nominations". April 23, 2018.

External links