The Manchester artist passed away "suddenly" according to her family.
According to a family statement, Johnson "died suddenly" after becoming ill last week, BBC and Guardian report. The cause of death is still unknown.
Johnson worked with many local acts, most prominently Primal Scream from 1990-'95, including on their seminal album Screamadelica with tracks "Higher Than The Sun" and "Don't Fight It, Feel It." She came to work with the band when performing with Hypnotone at one of Danny Rampling's Shoom parties in London, she told Louder Than War in 2018.
Johnson also extensively collaborated with Manchester band A Certain Ratio, beginning in 1990. Their relationship continued though March this year, as ACR recorded their last album, founder Martin Moscrop told NME. As well as working with Johnny Marr and The Charlatans, Johnson also contributed to New Order's Music Complete LP in 2015.
Johnson was preparing to release her debut solo album, Where Does It Go, this September. The acoustic LP features covers of New Order, The Smiths and more.
Here are some tributes to Johnson from Manchester artists and her past collaborators. To learn more about her career, read her in-depth 2018 interview with Louder Than War.
We were sad to hear about the passing of Denise Johnson. Our condolences to her family and friends. Denise's vital contributions to our Screamadelica & Give Out But Don't Give Up albums and tours are a testament to her talent. Precious Memories. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/gTlFiqn0kS— Primal Scream (@ScreamOfficial) July 28, 2020
It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beautiful dear friend Denise has passed away.— A Certain Ratio (@acrmcr) July 27, 2020
A full statement will be released later, for now please give her family and friends the space they need. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/aJpsr2sQ13
New Order are devastated to hear the sad news that Denise Johnson has passed away. She was a beautiful person with a huge talent. Her voice graced many of our albums and live shows and that of our friends. We will miss her dearly. pic.twitter.com/9elTLCiHG8— New Order (@neworder) July 27, 2020
We are so sad to hear our dear friend Denise Johnson has passed. Such an amazing talent and lovely person. We had some great times making music and hanging out. It was a honour to share the stage wity you D x R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/f76DuomxRj— Philip Cunningham (@PhilCmusic) July 27, 2020
I cant believe the news that Denise Johnson has passed -Her voice sews so many memories together in many contexts - but most of all she gave the best hugs -but you can hear that cant you ? xxxx pic.twitter.com/jHptOaLF6p— 808 State (@state808) July 27, 2020
Watch the video for "Don't Fight It, Feel It."
Photo credit: Trashed TV screengrab