More than a year after futuristic, avant-garde transgender musician Sophie died at age 34 after a fall from a balcony in Athens while attempting to take a picture of the moon, the pioneering producer and performer has secured a permanent place in our universe.
As reported by Nylon, a change.org petition was launched last year by superfan Christian Arroyo asking NASA to consider naming a minor planet after the songwriter whose music left “an insurmountable impression on many LGBTQIA+ individuals.” After Arroyo noted that Sophie “always pushed a message of individuality and expressing your true self which resonated throughout everything she did,” the governing body behind planet-naming heard the plea and finally weighed in.
The petition noted that when artist renditions of exoplanet TOI 1338 b were released last year, “many fans noticed the similarities between the interpretations and the aesthetic sense of SOPHIE’s visual work, specifically the cover for her 2018 album Oil of Every Pearl’s UnInsides. So, Arroyo humbly asked the scientists that discovered the planet to name it in her honor. “Her fans would love to pay homage by having her name be remembered in this way and for her influence to continue to flourish for years to come,” Arroyo wrote.
Now, more than 95,000 signatures — and a co-sign from collaborator/fan Charli XCX later — Arroyo announced on Sunday that while the exoplanet plan didn’t work out, the International Astronomical Union recently announced that asteroid 1980 RE1 will be permanently named Sophiexeon in the musician’s honor.
According to an announcement in the bulletin of the WGSBN (Working Group of the International Astronomical Union) — which assigns names to minor planets and comets — the comet discovered in 1980 has been re-named for “Sophie Xeon (1986–2021), known as SOPHIE, [was] a highly influential Scottish singer, songwriter, and producer. Sophie was known as an electronic music pioneer whose futuristic style changed the landscape of pop music in the early 21st century.”
Arroyo wrote that the great news that came over the weekend was a triumph for Sophie’s fans. “We did it y’all! Sophie has influence so many of us, and now she will forever be part of the cosmos,” wrote Arroyo. “I thank every single one of you who signed and shared this petition. The page itself will be kept up as a memorial to the great Sophie Xeon.”
It's not a TOI-1338b, but I am happy to announce that Asteroid 1980 RE1 now has the permanant name of #Sophiexeon! https://t.co/FFxxtvSfE9
— Christian Arroyo (@PamyuSquared) February 6, 2022