John Lydon chose to appear on The Masked Singer US in 2021 in order to please his wife Nora Forster, who has sadly passed away at the age of 80 following a five year battle with Alzheimer’s the singer confirmed on Thursday. 

The Sex Pistols icon, 67, shared his reasoning for appearing on the Fox reality series during an interview with Billboard shortly after his elimination from the competition, in which he appeared as The Jester.

John explained to the publication that he wanted to give his wife a ‘great sense of fun’ when she watched the show, because he felt that she could guess his identity with the clues that were given. 

The singer, formerly known as Johnny Rotten, said: ‘Someone contacted my manager and we discussed it and I thought it would be really good because it meant my lovely wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, might get a great sense of fun out of it if she managed to guess who it was.

‘We’ve lived together for 47 years, Nora and I, so she must have some clues as to who I am and what I can get up to.’

Special reason: John Lydon revealed in a 2021 interview that he joined The Masked Singer US (pictured) for his late wife Nora Forster, he appeared on the show as The Jester

Special reason: John Lydon revealed in a 2021 interview that he joined The Masked Singer US (pictured) for his late wife Nora Forster, he appeared on the show as The Jester

Special reason: John Lydon revealed in a 2021 interview that he joined The Masked Singer US (pictured) for his late wife Nora Forster, he appeared on the show as The Jester

Tragic: Nora (pictured right in 2017) sadly passed away at the age of 80 following a five year battle with Alzheimer's, the singer confirmed on Thursday

Tragic: Nora (pictured right in 2017) sadly passed away at the age of 80 following a five year battle with Alzheimer's, the singer confirmed on Thursday

Tragic: Nora (pictured right in 2017) sadly passed away at the age of 80 following a five year battle with Alzheimer’s, the singer confirmed on Thursday

John added that though he couldn’t watch the show with Nora at the time it was airing he did FaceTime her on a regular basis. 

‘I think she did guess… they made me a lovely pair of Jester gloves for me and Nora had them on when I talked to her on FaceTime,’ he said.

It was announced on Thursday that Nora had died after her years-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the former Sex Pistols frontman confirmed the news on his Twitter account. 

John has often spoken about being a full-time carer for his wife, who he previously said he ‘always loved’ and couldn’t live without.

A heartfelt statement on his account said: ‘It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Nora Forster – John Lydon’s wife of nearly five decades – has passed away.

‘Nora had been living with Alzheimer’s for several years. In which time John had become her full-time carer. Please respect John’s grief and allow him space. Rest in Peace Nora.’

The British punk pioneer lived in southern California with Nora and served as her primary carer for some five years after she was diagnosed with the illness – a life-limiting neurodegenerative condition. 

John married Nora in 1979 and recently admitted that life without the former model would be ‘unbearable’.

Dedicated: Nora met the singer (pictured in 1986) at Vivienne Westwood's famed King's Road clothes shop Sex in 1975, the couple married in 1979 and he cared for her during her illness

Dedicated: Nora met the singer (pictured in 1986) at Vivienne Westwood's famed King's Road clothes shop Sex in 1975, the couple married in 1979 and he cared for her during her illness

Dedicated: Nora met the singer (pictured in 1986) at Vivienne Westwood’s famed King’s Road clothes shop Sex in 1975, the couple married in 1979 and he cared for her during her illness 

Born Nora Maier, she was a German publishing heiress with a passion for music, who later became a promoter.

She had a daughter, Ariane, from her previous marriage to German singer Frank Forster. Better known as Ari Up, the late singer became the frontwoman of The Slits as a teenager and a punk icon in her own right.

Nora moved with Ari in the 1960s to west London, and hosted bands and rockstars like The Clash, Yes and Jimi Hendrix at her Shepherd’s Bush home. 

In 1975, Nora met the singer, who was 14 years her junior, at Vivienne Westwood’s famed King’s Road clothes shop Sex.

The pair were at first warned off each other by friends, but despite this, Lydon said they had an immediate and explosive connection – one which would last a lifetime.

‘It’s love, you know. I’ve always loved that woman. And she knows it. When we met we didn’t expect to get on. We’d both been told the other was a bad’un. But blimey. Sparks flew. It was instant attraction,’ he told The Guardian last year.

‘And that’s never gone. I never expected to feel like that. I never thought I was in any way attractive. Or anyone’s idea of a good date.’

The former Sex Pistol remained fiercely loyal to his wife despite the rock and roll lifestyle he led, telling Yahoo that as a star of one of the world’s biggest bands ‘sex was thrown at you, left right and centre’.

‘No, it wasn’t for me… I don’t like that flippancy. I grew up having childhood illnesses, and somehow it left me feeling that there was something wrong with me,’ Lydon said, referring to his ordeal with spinal meningitis aged just seven.

The years since Nora’s 2018 diagnosis were made more bearable, he said, by the two continuing to dance together, watching television and reflecting on memories of holidays.

He also added that his beloved wife had not gone away, despite her worsening illness and memory loss.

‘For me, the real person is still there. That person I love is still there every minute of every day, and that is my life,’ he said. 

In her final years, John added that Alzheimer’s experts had been astounded with the extent to which Nora continued to remember him, saying ‘a bit of love goes a long way.’ 

John and his wife’s devotion to one another was clear – and after decades together he said there would be ‘no one else’ for either of them if the other died.

Speaking about his role as his wife’s full-time carer before her passing, the Public Image Ltd (PiL) singer told The Times in February: ‘All the things I thought were the ultimate agony seem preposterous now… It’s shaped me into what I am. 

‘I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I don’t see how I can live without her. I wouldn’t want to. There’s no point.’

‘And, I’m sorry, but it’s worth every moment. No joy comes without pain and, boy, do I know that now.’

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