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SOPHIE’s Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides cover / TOI-1338 b
SOPHIE’s Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides cover / TOI-1338 b

SOPHIE fans call for NASA to name a planet after the late musician

Charli XCX is among those sharing a petition for TOI-1338 b – a planet that resembles the producer’s debut album cover – to be renamed in her honour

The response to SOPHIE’s death at 34, following a fall while watching the full moon, is an indication of what the visionary producer meant to her fans. Following the tragic announcement from her label on January 30, tributes have flooded social media, noting her impact on a new era of avant-garde pop, and how her boundary-breaking music has affected people on a personal level.

Now, fans have also launched a petition to establish a more lasting tribute to SOPHIE, asking NASA to name a recently-discovered planet after the late artist. “I am requesting that TOI-1338 b be named in honor of SOPHIE, in honor of a great LGBT+ influence,” writes the founder of the petition, Christian Arroyo. “I want her name to be remembered and her influence to continue to flourish for many years to come.”

TOI-1338 b isn’t just any planet, either. Discovered in the summer of 2019 by 17-year-old Wolf Cukier, the planet is one of several known to NASA that are “circumbinary” (meaning they orbit two stars) and inhabits a system over 1300 lightyears away. More importantly though, recently-revealed images of TOI-1338 b predict that its pastel-hued surface closely resembles the ethereal backdrop for SOPHIE’s Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides album art, shot by Charlotte Wales.

The resemblance must have struck a chord, because as of writing the two-day-old petition has over 25,000 signatures. SOPHIE’s friend and longtime collaborator Charli XCX has also tweeted a link to the petition, encouraging fans to sign it.

“It’s really hard for me to sum up the special connection I felt with such an amazing person who completely changed my life,” Charli XCX wrote in a tribute to SOPHIE posted February 2. “It’s impossible to summarise the journey I went on with SOPHIE. Even the most insignificant things felt enormous.” 

“I can’t explain how I feel and I can’t encapsulate what a unique person she was in one small social media post. I will honour SOPHIE in my own time personally, in my grief, through my memories, through my work, through writing things only I will read.”

SOPHIE has also been remembered by other friends and collaborators, including Arca, Shygirl, Grimes, and Munroe Bergdorf. “Sophie was a stellar producer, a visionary, a reference,” said Christine and the Queens. “She rebelled against the narrow, normative society by being an absolute triumph, both as an artist and as a woman. I can’t believe she is gone. We need to honor and respect her memory and legacy. Cherish the pioneers.”

Find (and sign) the petition for NASA to name a planet after SOPHIE here.