“I regard music as something that transcends the labels of gender, class or creed, which is why I think it's such a powerful medium. And as a fashion plate? I have to tell you that I've been given many opportunities to collude with the fashion industry, but I declined because I don't want to be a clotheshorse for anyone.” Annie Lennox
Grammy and Academy Award-winning musician Annie Lennox enjoyed her earliest taste of fame as half of the successful electronic pop duo “Eurythmics” in the 1980s, with whom she released such hit singles as "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (1983), "Who's That Girl?" (1983), "Here Comes the Rain Again" (1984) and "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" (1985).
Lennox began a solo career in the 1990s and has released four albums, "Diva" (1992), "Medusa" (1995), "Bare" (2003) and "Songs of Mass Destruction" (2007). Her hit singles include "Why" (1992), "Walking on Broken Glass" (1992), "Little Bird" (1993), "No More I Love You's" (1993), "Pavement Cracks" (2003), "A Thousand Beautiful Things" (2003) and "Wonderful" (2003). In 2004, she won an Oscar for Best Song for "Into the West" that was featured in the film “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” The song also won a Grammy award and a Golden Globe award.
The singer, who credits Motown as one of her major influences, was 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.
On a more personal note, the 5' 9" singer, who was one of VH1's “100 Sexiest Artists,” has been married twice and has two daughters.
“The future hasn't happened yet and the past is gone so I think the only moment we have is right here and now, and I try to make the best of those moments, the moments that I'm in.” Annie Lennox
Childhood and Family:
In Aberdeen, Scotland, Ann Griselda Lennox was born on the Christmas Day in 1954. The only child of a former shipyard worker and a cook (both died of cancer), Lennox attended the Aberdeen High School for Girls (now Harlaw Academy).
At age 17, Lennox began her training as a classical musician at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied the flute. She dropped out a few weeks before her finals, but later in July 2006, she received an honorary degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, after which she said, “What I have done with my life has all been about self-invention and I didn't have degrees or qualification or anyone to guide me.”
An avid fan of the Buddhist religion, Lennox married Radha Raman, a Hare Krishna monk, on March 14, 1984. They divorced in February 1985 and Lennox married Uri Fruchtmann, an Israeli film director and record producer, on July 15, 1985. They have two daughters, Lola and Tali. The couple also had one son named Daniel, who was stillborn in December 1988. Lennox and Fruchtmann divorced in 2000.
Lennox is a vegetarian. Her closest friends are Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde and Sadie Frost.
Lennox has been an active humanitarian throughout her career. During the 1999's "Peacetour" for the Eurythmics album Peace, she and Dave Stewart gave all their profit to Amnesty International and Greenpeace. She became a patron of the Master's Course in Humanitarian and Development Practice for Oxford Brookes University in 2006. She spoke at the British House of Commons in October 2006 on the need for children in the U.K. to help their counterparts in Africa. She also performed during the “American Idol: Idol Gives Back" fundraising drive in 2007 and 2008.
“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” Annie Lennox
Songs of Mass Destruction
Interested in music as early as age 3, Annie Lennox studied piano at age 7 and entered the Royal Academy of Music in London to study flute at age 17. She also sang in the school choir and was introduced to a style of Greek dance called "Eurhythmics."
After leaving the music academy a few weeks before her finals, Lennox worked in a book shop in London for a while. At one time, she participated in a singing contest and won, thanks to her renditions of Scottish folk songs.
While on an audition, Lennox met singer Joy Dey. The two decided to pursue a career as a duo and under the name “The Stocking Tops,” they played in South London clubs for a while.
In 1976, while working as a waitress in a Hampstead restaurant, Lennox met future longtime collaborator Dave Stewart. Alongside Stewart and his songwriting buddy Peet Coombes, Lennox formed a group in which she was the lead vocalist. The trio, known as “The Catch,” was signed to a six-album deal with Logo Records. However, they only released one single, "Borderline/Black Blood" (1977), which bombed.
After adding a couple more members, the band rechristened themselves "The Tourists" and released three albums between 1979-1980. Their biggest hits were their cover of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want to Be With You," which peaked at number four in 1979.
"The Tourists" disbanded in 1981, but Lennox and Stewart stayed together, renaming themselves "Eurythmics." The duo released a string of successful 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?," "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" (featuring soul legend Aretha Franklin), the duo's only UK #1 "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)," "Missionary Man," "I Need A Man," "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart," "Angel," and "Don't Ask Me Why." Lennox also made her film debut in Robert Altman's film adaptation of Harold Pinter's play, “The Room” (1987). She also scored her first hit single under her name, "Put A Little Love In Your Heart," a duet with soul star Al Green and a cover version of Jackie DeShannon's 1969 hit, which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1988 film “Scrooged.”
“Over the years, I was never really driven to become a solo artist, but I was curious to find out who I was as an individual creative person. It's taken some time, but now I feel I've truly paid my dues. I guess I'm at a point now where I'm more comfortable in my own skin.” Annie Lennox
In 1992, Lennox released her solo debut album, “Diva,” which spawned the singles "Why," "Precious," "Walking on Broken Glass," and "Cold." The album that garnered Lennox her first Grammy (she was nominated for three Grammy awards) was a commercial and critical success, charting at #1 and certified quadruple platinum. It was also a success in the U.S. where it was a top 30 hit.
Lennox's second solo album, "Medusa," hit the music stores in March 1995. The album consists solely of cover songs and yielded four UK singles, "No More I Love You's,” "A Whiter Shade of Pale," "Waiting in Vain," and "Something So Right." It entered the U.K. album chart at #1 and peaked in the U.S. at #11. It has since been certified double platinum in both the U.K. and the U.S. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammy Awards of 1996 and won Lennox the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award for her work on the first single "No More I Love You's." It was later re-released in late 1995 in a jeweled case.
Lennox subsequently re-recorded Eurythmics's track "Angel" in 1997 for the Diana, Princess of Wales tribute album. During the following year, after the death of the former “The Tourists” lead singer/songwriter Peet Coombes, she was reunited with Eurythmics's Dave Stewart and released the album “Peace” (1999).
In June 2002, Lennox was invited to perform at the Queen's 50th Anniversary Jubilee concert, sharing the stage with Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. That same year, she was awarded the Billboard Century Award.
“Historically, the image of women in pop music has been so totally ornamental - sexual, but predictably so. It's hard to tell how far women's individuality has come in the past twenty years. Certainly, if you look at the pop charts as a measuring stick, you'd think it hasn't come far at all. But women do feel less like victims now then they did twenty years ago. At heart I'm a feminist, but I'm also a feminist for men. Men should be liberated from the roles that are foisted on them also.” Annie Lennox
"Bare," Lennox's third solo album, was released on June 10, 2003. It topped at #3 in the U.K. and #4 on the U.S. Billboard 200. The album went Gold in both countries and was nominated for "Best Pop Album" at the 46th Grammy Awards. It spun off the singles "A Thousand Beautiful Things" and "Wonderful." Lennox also embarked on a worldwide solo tour to promote the album.
2004 saw Lennox at the 76th Academy Awards where she won an Oscar for Best Song for "Into the West" from the film “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which she co-wrote with lyricist Fran Walsh and composer Howard Shore. The song also won a Grammy award and a Golden Globe award. In the middle of the year, Lennox embarked on an extensive North American tour with Sting and later performed at Live 8 in Hyde Park, London, along with Madonna, Sting, and other popular musicians, in July 2005.
Lennox also teamed up again with Stewart to record their Eurythmics hits album, “Ultimate Collection,” which yielded the single "I've Got a Life" on October 31, 2005. The single climbed to #14 on the U.K. singles chart and was a #1 U.S. dance hit. By this time, Lennox has been awarded eight BRIT Awards, the most of any woman, including one as part of Eurythmics. For their outstanding contribution to British music and their integral part to the British music culture, the Eurythmics were inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in November 16, 2005.
Lennox's anticipated fourth solo album, and her last album with BMG, "Songs of Mass Destruction," eventually hit the stores on October 1, 2007, in the U.K. and October 2, 2007, in the U.S. It debuted at number 7 in the U.K. and number 9 in the U.S. The album's first single, "Dark Road," was released on September 24, 2007. She later embarked on a tour called "Annie Lennox Sings" to promote the album.
Grammy: Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," 2005
Oscar: Best Music, Best Music - Original Song, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," 2004
Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," 2004
Billboard Century Award by Billboard magazine, 2002
Brit Award: British Female Solo Artist, 1996
Grammy: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “No More I Love You's,” 1995
Brit Award: British Female Solo Artist, 1993
Brit Award: British Album, “Diva,” 1993
Grammy: Best Music Video - Long Form, “Diva,” 1992
Brit Award: British Female Solo Artist, 1990
Brit Award: British Female Solo Artist, 1989
Grammy: Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (Eurythmics), “Missionary Man,” 1987
British Phonographic Industry: British Female Solo Artist, 1986
British Phonographic Industry: British Female Solo Artist, 1984