Gossip (band)

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Gossip performing in 2007. L–R: Brace Paine, Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie
Background information
OriginSearcy, Arkansas, U.S.
Years active1999–2016, 2019–2020
LabelsBack Yard, Kill Rock Stars, K, Columbia (current), Dim Mak (former)
Past membersBeth Ditto
Nathan "Brace Paine" Howdeshell
Hannah Blilie
Kathy Mendonça

Gossip (or The Gossip) was an American indie rock band formed in Searcy, Arkansas, originally active from 1999 until 2016. For most of their career, the band consisted of singer Beth Ditto, multi-instrumentalist Brace Paine, and drummer Hannah Blilie.[1] After releasing several recordings, the band broke through with their 2006 studio album, Standing in the Way of Control. A follow-up, Music for Men, was released in 2009. The band played a mix of post-punk revival, indie rock, and dance-rock. Their last album, A Joyful Noise, was released in May 2012.


Formation and early history[edit]

Gossip was formed in 1999 in Olympia, Washington, by vocalist Beth Ditto, guitarist Nathan "Brace Paine" Howdeshell, and drummer Kathy Mendonça.[2] All three were originally from Searcy, Arkansas; Mendonça moved to Olympia to attend Evergreen State College and Howdeshell and Ditto followed.[2] Howdeshell and Mendonça had been in bands together in Arkansas.[3] Gossip coalesced when the three members were roommates in Olympia.[2]

In 1999, the independent record label K Records released Gossip's first recording, their debut EP The Gossip, to coincide with the band's tour with Sleater-Kinney.[2] Gossip played at the first Ladyfest in Olympia in August 2000 and was included in Time magazine's article on the festival.[4]

Their next record was the debut studio album That's Not What I Heard, released by the label Kill Rock Stars on January 23, 2001. They followed it with the EP Arkansas Heat on May 7, 2002. Movement, their second studio album, was released on May 6, 2003. In November 2003, two months after the release of their first live album Undead in NYC on September 9, drummer Kathy Mendonça left the band to pursue a career as a midwife. Established punk drummer Hannah Blilie joined to replace her. The band then dropped "The" from their name, continuing as plain "Gossip".[citation needed]

The first release featuring new drummer Hannah Blilie was the band's next album, Standing in the Way of Control. It was released on January 24, 2006, on Kill Rock Stars and later in 2006 on UK independent label Back Yard Recordings. The record was produced by Ryan Hadlock, owner of Bear Creek Studio, and Fugazi singer/guitarist Guy Picciotto.

2007–2011: Mainstream success and moving to a major label[edit]

Gossip at the London Barfly, May 16, 2007

The album Standing in the Way of Control has earned Gold Record Status in the UK. Gossip's first UK TV appearance was on BBC1's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, where they performed the title track "Standing in the Way of Control".

As reported on Pitchfork in March 2007, the group signed to Music With a Twist, a subsidiary of Sony Music Label Group, concentrating on LGBT music acts.[5] During the summer of 2007, Gossip was a part of the multi-artist True Colors Tour 2007,[6] which traveled through 15 cities in the United States and Canada. Hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper, the tour also included Debbie Harry, Erasure, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, The Cliks, and special guests. Profits from the tour went to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.

Gossip is based in Portland, Oregon and has played with bands such as Sleater-Kinney, Le Tigre, CSS, Erase Errata, Mika Miko, Panther, Comanechi, and Mates of State. They also opened for Scissor Sisters on three dates of their November 2006 tour.

On June 24, 2007, Gossip closed the Glastonbury Festival, playing the final set on the John Peel stage during which Ditto gave a tribute to the late John Peel. The band also performed the following year, on the Pyramid Stage.

Gossip launched their Live in Liverpool album in the UK and the U.S. in April 2008. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and also features a DVD of their live performance. A new studio album called Music For Men was released in June 2009. The first single from the album, "Heavy Cross", was especially successful in Germany where it was certified triple gold[7] for selling over 450,000 copies, and was mentioned as the "most successful internationally produced single" of all time in September 2010.[8] In January 2011 the single broke the German record for the longest-selling track in chart history. By January 14, 2011, it had spent 82 consecutive weeks on the German Top 100.[9]

2012–2016: A Joyful Noise, split[edit]

On March 12, 2012, the band's comeback single, "Perfect World", was unveiled on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. Their fifth studio album, A Joyful Noise, produced by Xenomania's Brian Higgins, was released in late May.[10][11] The band's music had evolved and become poppier. Andy Gill, writing in The Independent, welcomed the result,[12] whereas Pitchfork's review was more negative.[13] A second single, "Move in the Right Direction", was issued in May. During the summer, the band headlined various festivals.

In an interview with Pitchfork in February 2016, Ditto confirmed the split of Gossip. She stated that she intended to focus on her clothing line and music as a solo artist.[14]

2019–2020: Tenth anniversary tour[edit]

In March 2019, Ditto announced the band's return with a show in late July 2019 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Music for Men.[15] This later expanded into a world tour.[16] The band played their final show of the tour at Rote Fabrik in Zurich, Switzerland on August 19, 2019.[17] In October 2020, Ditto shared a photo to her Instagram page of herself with Paine and Mendonça in the studio together.[18] As of July 2022, however, no recordings have been shared from this session.

Musical style[edit]

The band's style has been described as "a soul or gospel" voice with "a sort of funky punk soundtrack".[19] Members of Gossip have stated a liking for rock bands like Birthday Party,[20] Siouxsie and the Banshees,[20][21] Nirvana,[21] and The Raincoats,[21] but also for other genres such as dance and hip hop.[22]

Band members[edit]

Final lineup[edit]

  • Beth Ditto – vocals, piano (1999–2016, 2019–2020)
  • Nathan "Brace Paine" Howdeshell – guitar, bass, keyboards (1999–2016, 2019–2020)
  • Hannah Blilie – drums (2004–2016, 2019)

Former members[edit]

  • Kathy Mendonça – drums (1999–2003, 2020)

Touring musicians[edit]

  • Christopher Sutton – bass (2009–2013, 2019–2020)
  • Gregg Foreman – keyboards (2012–2013, 2019–2020)



  • 2010: nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Music Artist" for their album Music for Men during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[23]
  • June 18, 2012, the single "Move in the Right Direction" was named BBC Radio 2's Record of The Week.[24]

ECHO Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2010 "Heavy Cross" Best International Hit Nominated
Themselves Best International Newcomer Nominated
Best International Group Nominated
2012 Nominated

Hungarian Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2010 Music for Men Alternative Music Album of the Year Nominated
2013 A Joyful Noise Won

Mojo Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 "Standing in the Way of Control" Song of the Year Nominated

MTV Europe Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2010 Themselves Best Alternative Nominated

PLUG Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 "Standing in the Way of Control" Song of the Year Nominated

Žebřík Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2009 Themselves Best International Discovery Nominated [25]


  1. ^ Wilson, Cintra (April 24, 2009). "(Mc)Queen Beth Ditto: The Gossip Fronter's Alexander McQueen Shoot & Interview – Music". Blackbookmag.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Abreu, Amelia (February 8, 2001), "Southern Comfort", Dallas Observed, archived from the original on May 28, 2010, retrieved March 25, 2010
  3. ^ Coble, Margaret (February 13, 2001), "Hot Gossip", The Advocate
  4. ^ Nugent, Benjamin (July 30, 2000). "Olympia Ladystyle". Time. Archived from the original on February 14, 2001.
  5. ^ Phillips, Amy "Pitchfork News "The Gossip Sign to Columbia" Archived March 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Pitchfork Media, March 8, 2007.
  6. ^ "True Colors Tour 2007". Truecolorstour.com. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  7. ^ data base of Bundesverband Musikindustrie (German)
  8. ^ press text released by media control (German)
  9. ^ German Chart Blog January 15, 2011
  10. ^ "Gossip reveal details of comeback album 'Perfect World'". NME. March 12, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  11. ^ "Gossip to release Mark Ronson-produced album 'Perfect World' in May". Digital Spy. March 12, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
  12. ^ Gill, Andy (May 12, 2012). "Album: Gossip, A Joyful Noise (Columbia)". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  13. ^ Ryce, Andrew (June 4, 2012). "Gossip: A Joyful Noise". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  14. ^ "Beth Ditto Stays Radically Fat With New Clothing Line and Solo Career". Pitchfork. February 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "Gossip". Somerset House. March 13, 2019.
  16. ^ Mims, Taylor. "Beth Ditto Reunites Gossip for Anniversary Tour". Billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media, LLC. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "Gossip Concert Setlist at Rote Fabrik, Zurich, Switzerland on August 19, 2019". Setlist.FM. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  18. ^ Ditto, Beth. "Beth Ditto @Bethditto". Instagram. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  19. ^ "Meet Beth Ditto: The Coolest Woman on the Planet". independent.co.uk. November 23, 2006
  20. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Larry. "Gossip Q&A" Archived May 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Spin.com. April 28, 2009. Q&A: Gossip. Excerpt: "What bands influenced the new album's sound? Everything from the Birthday Party to house music and Siouxsie and the Banshees."
  21. ^ a b c Videtti, Giuseppe . "Beth Ditto interview". repubblica.it. March 26, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2012. "At 18 I discovered Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Raincoats and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The mainstream"
  22. ^ Harper, Simon. "Gossip: Beth Ditto & co in conversation...". Clashmusic.com. June 9, 2009. Retrieved 1-10-12. Excerpt: "I think we just make music that we like at the time, and it's not supposed to go into any certain genre or whatever. Yeah, we listen to a lot of punk, but we also listen to a lot of dance stuff and hip-hop and everything."
  23. ^ "21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards – English Language Nominees". Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  24. ^ "Radio 2's Record of The Week". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012.
  25. ^ "2010-2004 – Anketa Žebřík".

External links[edit]