on Jun 7th, 2010
Born: 25 December 1954
Annie Lennox (born 25 December 1954) is a Scottish musician, vocalist, Academy Award-winning songwriter and AIDS campaigner.She is both a solo artist and the lead singer of the musical duo Eurythmics, hailed as "The Greatest White Soul Singer Alive" by members of the rock industry on the VH1 show 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll in 1999. Both as a solo artist and with Eurythmics, Lennox has sold 80 million records. Her voice range is contralto.
She was born Ann Lennox on Christmas Day, 1954, in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her father worked at the shipyard, and her mother was a cook until she became a housewife. Lennox was an only child and the family lived in a small two-roomed apartment in a block of flats with communal laundry facilities. Her father and his family were musical and enjoyed singing, and also her father learned to play the bag pipes, which Lennox enjoyed listening to.
Lennox had piano lessons at school from the age of seven years at the cost of 4.00 per term, which was a lot for the family to afford. She was interested in singing and, with plenty of time by herself, passed some of the time by singing along to the popular music of the time, including music by the The Beatles. She was an unhappy teenager, partly because of a struggle over boundaries for her independence with her father, who was protective of her. She attended Aberdeen High School for Girls, now Harlaw Academy.
Lennox won a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied the flute and classical music for three years. As a student she realised that her flute playing was mediocre in comparison to some of her talented peers; although, previously she had thought that she was a good flute player. She lived on a student grant and worked part-time jobs for extra money. Lennox was unhappy during her time at the Royal Academy partly because she was lonely and shy, and she missed many history of music lessons.
Lennox's flute teacher's final report stated: "Ann has not always been sure of where to direct her efforts, though latterly she has been more committed. She is very, very able, however." Two years later, Lennox reported to the Academy: "I have had to work as a waitress, barmaid, and shop assistant to keep me when not in musical work." In 2006, the academy made her an honorary Fellow. Lennox also was made a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama that year.
Between 1977 and 1980, Lennox was the lead singer of The Tourists, a moderately successful British pop band and her first collaboration with Dave Stewart. During the time they were in The Tourists, Stewart and Lennox were involved in a relationship, though this had ended by the time they formed Eurythmics.
Lennox and Stewart's second collaboration, the 1980s synthpop duo Eurythmics, resulted in her most notable fame, as the duo's alto, soul-tinged lead singer. Early in Eurythmics's career, Lennox was known for her androgyny, wearing suits and once impersonating Elvis Presley. Eurythmics released a long line of singles in the 1980s, including "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", "Here Comes the Rain Again", "Who's That Girl?", "Would I Lie to You?", "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)", "Missionary Man", "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart", and "Don't Ask Me Why", among others. Though Eurythmics never officially disbanded, Lennox made a fairly clear break from Stewart in 1990. Thereafter, she began a long and equally-successful solo career.
From the beginning of her career, Lennox has experimented with her image both as an artist and as a woman. She matured as a public figure in the late 20th century, just as MTV and the medium of video were becoming the obvious vehicles for selling contemporary popular music. She has managed her image astutely, both as a means of interpreting and marketing her music. This was emphasized in the music video for "Little Bird" in 1992, in which many Lennox lookalikes could be seen who were dressed as her many different personas from past videos.
Because of her immense success, Annie Lennox has also amassed a substantial fortune, estimated at 80 million over the years with Eurythmics and as a solo artist.
Though it was produced by Dave Stewart, a 1988 single from the movie Scrooged with Al Green, "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (a cover version of Jackie DeShannon's 1969 hit), was credited to Lennox and Green, and therefore can be considered her first release outside a band identity. In 1991, her version of Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" appeared on the Porter tribute compilation Red Hot + Blue, a benefit for AIDS awareness. Lennox performed the song that same year for a cameo appearance in the Derek Jarman film Edward II. She then made a memorable appearance with David Bowie and the surviving members of Queen at 1992's Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at London's Wembley Stadium, performing "Under Pressure."
She began working with former Trevor Horn proteg Stephen Lipson, beginning with Lennox's 1992 solo dbut album, Diva. It was a commercial and critical success, charting #1 in UK, #6 in Germany, and #23 in the US. Lennox's profile was boosted by Diva's singles, which included "Why" and "Walking on Broken Glass". "Little Bird" also formed a double A-side with "Love Song for a Vampire", a soundtrack cut for Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie Bram Stoker's Dracula. The B-side of her single "Precious" was a self-penned song called "Step by Step." Whitney Houston later covered "Step by Step" for the soundtrack of the film The Preacher's Wife. Houston's cover was a hit in its own right. Stephen Lipson consistently has been involved in Lennox's solo offerings, providing a sonic unity within all her solo recordings.
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