Gail Zappa has died aged 70, according to a statement issued by the Zappa Family Trust.
A cause of death has not been confirmed, although TMZ reported she had a long battle with lung cancer.
She was born Adelaide Gail Sloatman in January 1945, and lived in London and New York before hitchhiking to Los Angeles, according to a Rolling Stone report. She met Zappa while working as a secretary at LA nightclub Whisky A Go Go.
Zappa administered the estate of her late husband from his death in 1993 until earlier this year, when the couple’s son Ahmet was put in charge of the Trust.
You can read the statement from the Trust below.
“Gail Zappa, nee Adelaide Gail Sloatman, age 70, departed this earth peacefully at her home on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, surrounded by her children.
“Married to Frank Zappa at age 22, Gail was a doe-eyed, barefooted trailblazer, giving equal value to her domestic and professional responsibilities as matriarch of the family and overseer of all Zappa enterprises. She devoted herself to partnering with her husband in the music business and raising their children, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva.
“Gail enthusiastically executed her role as guardian of her husband’s creative life and, with his passing, strove to ensure his legacy as one of the leading American composers and musicians of the 20th century. In this and all business endeavors, Gail passionately advocated to establish clear definitions of intellectual property and copyright laws on behalf of not just her husband, but all artists. While she conducted intricate legal negotiations with corporations as grand dame of the Zappa Family Trust, she never failed to impart the sense of humor that was part and parcel of her indomitable and formidable personality. Gail, self-described as a pagan absurdist, was motivated by love in all aspects of her life, kept her authenticity intact, unbowed and, simply put, was one bad ass in the music business and political world.
“Gail will forever be identified as a key figure in the creative renaissance that is Laurel Canyon. But more than any singular accomplishment, she defined herself in her personal relationships, happiest when surrounded by loved ones and artists, often one in the same. The memories she leaves behind are indeed her own art form. Her searing intelligence, unforgettable smile, wild thicket of hair and trailing black velvets leave a blur in her wake.”
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