Elizabeth Borg, the lead-singer of local rockers Chica Diabla, has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Borg was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, which, at the time, she appeared to have fought off successfully. In December of 2015, Borg learned that remnants of the breast cancer had metastasized in her brain.
In an interview with the Reader this past July, Borg stated “Every time we get momentum going, my stupid cancer thing happens and I’m, like, ‘Oh my god!’ Back in 2013, when I first had cancer, we had [guitarist Jon Norwood] in place and we were starting to get momentum and starting to get opportunities. Than I had cancer and had to be out for a while. Then, the second time, when I was diagnosed in December , we had just opened for Nashville Pussy. We were getting these opportunities, and now I’ve been out for a while. It’s been frustrating for me. Luckily, the band stands behind me and waits for me.”
After the passing, Chica Diabla cofounder Rachel Enyeart stated the following on her Facebook page:
“There are no words. What a wonderful beautiful human being she was. My heart hurts so bad. I will carry a piece of her spirit with me always. Every time I play a show, I know she will be there with me. I love you so much Liz. God I miss you. Until we meet again...”
Chica Diabla held a long-delayed release party for their self-titled CD on August 19 at the Casbah. The date was also billed as Borg’s retirement performance. Obviously in a weakened state, Borg was confined to a wheelchair, and had to be lifted onto a custom-made throne where she would sit for the entire performance. She went out like a champion though, singing the entire set as the audience of friends, family, and fans cheered and sang along throughout. What could have easily had the atmosphere of a wake was transformed into a triumphant victory lap for the singer. It was a unique concert experience.
On September 29, Chica Diabla released an official statement regarding the future of the band. It stated that due to Borg’s illness, the band would be on indefinite hiatus until further notice.
It concluded with the following:
“Unfortunately, there is no guidebook on how to approach our situation as a band moving forward from such unfortunate and unimaginable circumstances. In the meantime, listen to, buy, and share our album, wear our shirts and buttons, paste our stickers wherever you can, and let’s keep the legacy of the amazingly fierce Elizabeth B. and Chica Diabla alive forever! From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each and every one of you who has stood by us on our amazing rock-n-roll ride. For now, we bid you a humble and loving to be continued…”