Annie Lennox pushes the envelope. Male backup singers in ballet outfits and bear suits: that’s Annie. A lifetime achievement award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry:’ that’s Annie too. She was “the white Grace Jones,” and a style icon for the androgynous fashion outbreak of the 80’s–a style choice that provoked gossip of her sexual status as a female.
“It was about power and politics,” she has said of her androgyny. “It was about saying: ‘I’m the same as him’ [Dave Stewart, her Eurythmics partner]. I’m a female but I have a masculine side and I’m not going to negate that part of myself.”
We first met the Scottish singer when she formed Eurythmics with Dave Stewart, and gave us enduring hits, “Sweet Dreams,” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” and soul-soaked “Would I Lie To You.” Lennox stepped into solo stardom with a song that has outlived many of her chart-competitors in the 90’s. It was “Walking On Broken Glass” that secured her position as a solo artist to take seriously. The album sold over 2 million copies in the US and earned itself 3 Grammy Award nominations, including Album of the Year. Everyone wanted a piece of the pixie-haired, suit-wearing songstress.
Her reign as style and music icon of the 80’s and early 90’s was just the beginning for Lennox, an artist always pushing for challenging new projects and opportunities to grow. At that time, she moved into producing movie soundtracks, writing and singing back-up for Whitney Houston’s The Preacher’s Wife, and contributing to the Dracula, Dark Side of the Moon and Apollo 13 soundtracks. Her multi-talents were rewarded in 2004 when she recieved the Academy Award for ‘Best Song’ for the eerily beautiful “Into the West” from The Lord of the Rings: The Return the King.
Always evolutionary, the singer and soundtrack producer has now grown into activist, taking a stand against AIDS and promoting feminism and sexuality. Lennox has and will remain a woman of strong beliefs, and we’ll be keeping tabs on which envelopes she’ll be pushing next.