The life story of Annie Lennox

The popular singer, a former member of the duo “Eurythmics”, who will turn 67 on December 25, 2021, managed to overcome depression, love disappointments and the death of a child, and she found happiness in music, her third marriage and helping others…

Over a career spanning more than four decades, Annie Lennox has sold over 80 million copies of the album, and has received numerous accolades, including eight Brit Awards, four Grammy, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Song in The Lord of the Rings: Return king “, while the music TV station VH1 named her the best living white soul singer. Such a status in the music industry gives her the freedom not to have to “punch” albums like on a tape, but far from the Scottish singer sitting with her arms crossed.

Namely, for the last fifteen years, she devotes most of her energy and time to humanitarian work: she helps African women and children infected with the HIV virus, and due to numerous actions – in some of them she collaborated with the late South African President Nelson Mandela – UNESCO declared her in 2010. A goodwill ambassador for the fight against AIDS.

A year later, for humanitarian work, she was awarded by the British Queen Elizabeth II.

Today, social and humanitarian engagement seems to mean even more to her than professional success. Thus, without a hair on her tongue, she criticized the former Pope Benedict XVI because he opposed the use of condoms, which, in her opinion, contributed to the spread of AIDS in Africa.

During a speech on the subject, which she gave in 2009 at a political rally in Edinburgh, she wore a T-shirt that said HIV positive. That same year, she was at the forefront of London demonstrations against the attack on Gaza. She publicly declares herself as a “modern feminist”, and in accordance with that, about two years ago, she attacked her American colleague Beyonce. Lennox was bothered by the fact that she flirts with feminism at performances, and at the same time exploits her sexuality to the maximum, which, according to Annie, is a bad role model for children.

I’ll introduce you the life story of Annie Lennox!

A melancholic girl

Annie Lennox obviously thinks that there is a lot of important things to say, and even more to do, especially in Africa. As life often did not caress her, she is very empathetic towards the poor and disenfranchised.

Her father, Tom Lennox, was a worker at a shipyard in Aberdeen, Scotland, and her mother, Dorothy, was a cook in a workers’ canteen. Although they were uneducated and poor, they tried to give their unit, born on December 25, 1954, everything they could. And, as she showed as a child that she was gifted in music, at the age of seven they paid for her piano lessons and enrolled her in a good school, even though many in the neighborhood made fun of them because of that.

– I reluctantly remember my childhood. We lived about fifty meters from the textile factory and about two hundred from the slaughterhouse, which filled me with horror. That’s probably why I’m a vegetarian today. And when I compare the life at that time and the childhood of my children, who normally have mobile phones and internet access, I have the feeling that we were born on different planets – admitted Annie Lennox in an interview, who sought escape from the gray everyday life in music.

She listened to “The Beatles” on the radio and sang all day, and when she saw a flutist perform on television as an eleven-year-old, she fell in love with that instrument. She insisted so much on learning to play the flute, that her parents eventually relented. She did not give up even after the first, traumatic class for her, during which she hyperventilated and vomited in front of the teacher due to the wrong breathing technique.

The parents were happy that their daughter found herself in at least something, because she was very withdrawn and rarely hung out with her peers. Although she had good grades, her school was boring and hard.

– In my youth I struggled with melancholy and depression. I always felt alone, as if I didn’t belong anywhere. It’s not like that anymore, when I’m sad, I go to bed and call my friends – she admitted years later, revealing that in the most difficult moments of her youth, she also thought about suicide.

She had her first solo public performance as a sixteen-year-old at a competition in a small town on the coast, where she sang the Scottish folk song “Mairi’s Wedding” in front of several hundred spectators and won first place.

The following year, she enrolled in flute and piano studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, but very soon found herself in a quandary, did she make a good choice?

She was horrified by the idea that one day she could end up as a school teacher, for which she had no affinity. Due to dark thoughts about the future, she often missed the academy, which she still had to pay regularly, and since her parents did not have the money for that elite faculty, she worked all the time – as a saleswoman, waitress, hairdresser’s assistant… But when she finished her studies, she did not start looking for an engagement as a flutist, but something completely different.

– One morning I woke up and decided that I would be a singer. I felt like I took the veil off my eyes and saw. I called my parents and explained to them that I would not be returning to Aberdeen, which terrified them. What is that occupation and then why did you study the flute, they wondered?

A fateful encounter

Annie did not want to give up the idea of becoming a singer. For the money, however, she joined the band “Dragon’s Playground” in which she played the flute, and continued to work as a waitress – until she was approached in a cafe by a man she attracted and introduced himself as a music producer.

Hoping that she would like it, he suggested that she sing something to him, and when he heard her voice, he immediately offered her a contract. But Lenox was distrustful and asked for a few days to think. She talked to a friend, and she introduced her to her acquaintance, two-year-old guitarist David Alan Stewart. Hearing her sing, David told her that he would take care of her career and not sign the offered contract.

They teamed up with the late Pete Kumbes and in 1979 founded the punk group “The Catch”, which was renamed “The Tourists” after only one unsuccessful single. Despite everything, Annie and Dave were happy – and in love.

The singer later admitted that it was one of the most beautiful periods in her life, even though the band “The Tourists” broke up. It wasn’t until 1980 that the couple in love began performing as the duo “Eurythmics”, named after the dance technique Annie had learned in school as a girl, much changed – but not immediately. Their first album “In the Garden”, released in 1981, did not achieve noticeable success on the charts, and the exhausting tours, on which they carried the equipment themselves and assembled it on stage, left their mark on the fragile psyche of the singer.

She suffered a nervous breakdown and during the treatment, she was diagnosed with agoraphobia – fear of open spaces.

When she recovered a bit, she started recording her second album with Stewart, which was released in 1983, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” – with the song of the same name, it became a worldwide hit. The equally successful titles “Touch” and “1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)” followed, but their popularity did not bring them happiness in love.

– Dave and I got along great, but we stopped being lovers after the first successes of “Eurythmics”. Come to think of it, what happened was logical: as soon as we were left alone in the room, we didn’t act like a couple, we just talked about music.

They parted amicably, and soon after the break-up, she fell in love with the German Rada Raman, a follower of the Hare Krishna movement. They got married in March 1984, after only four months of acquaintance, and went to Switzerland, where they lived in a hut for a while. The singer realized very quickly that this might not have been the smartest decision in her life, so she divorced in January 1986.

Shortly after that, another blow followed – her father died of cancer, and she sank into depression again. She was drawn to her new love – by Israeli film producer and director Uri Fruhtman, whom she met while filming a documentary about “Eurythmics.”

They were married in July 1988, when she was already pregnant. The singer was looking forward to the child, which she knew was a boy, so she and her husband chose his name – Daniel.

However, what was supposed to be the greatest happiness turned into the most terrible trauma in her life: she gave birth to a dead baby. Annie Lennox never spoke about the details, but admitted that after that she was never the same again.

On her last album before the breakup of “Eurythmics”, “We Too Are One”, released in 1989, she sang the beautiful ballad “Angel”, which she dedicated to her late son and father.

Happiness smiled on her again in December 1990, when she gave birth to a daughter, Lola. Then she withdrew from the public and announced a longer musical break so that she could fully dedicate herself to the child. She also used that time to think about business changes. Numerous commitments related to “Eurythmics” became too hard for her, and she also wanted to try something new. She returned to the scene in 1992, performing with David Bowie and members of the band “Queen” at a concert in memory of their singer Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS.

The birth of a diva

A few months later, she released her first solo album, “Diva”, which was a huge success. For weeks, he was at the top of the world’s charts, and the best were two singles for which she recorded gorgeous videos – “Why” and “Walking on Broken Glass”, in which famous actors John Malkovich and Hugh also appeared. Lori.

This time, her musical success was accompanied by happiness in her private life – at the beginning of 1993, she gave birth to her second daughter, Tali. She also withdrew from the stage for a while, but in 1995 she returned with the successful album “Medusa” with covers of her favorite songs, and the song “No More I Love You’s” brought her a Grammy for best female pop vocal.

Two years later, she met David Stewart again, but the occasion was not nice – their former associate Pete Coombs passed away. The duo realized that there were still creative sparks among them, so in 1999 they released the album “Peace”, which they promoted with a concert on the ship “Rainbow Warrior”, and donated part of the money from its sale to that environmental association and organization “Amnesty International”.

Annie devoted more and more time to various charities, especially those to fight AIDS.

– Although I hate the word “celebrity”, I have to admit that I also have that status, so I don’t want to waste it in vain. So every night I go to bed with the question “What did I do today to keep someone from suffering?” and I plan what I will do tomorrow, hoping that my contribution will help someone who could die, because there is no money for medicine.

But her musical career and humanitarian engagement distanced her from her husband, from whom she divorced in 2000.

– Men are the biggest disappointment in my life. I’ve been in relationships all the time, but now it seems to me that marriage as an institution doesn’t make sense. I do not intend to get married anymore – she said after the divorce.

But never say never – in 2009, she met South African gynecologist Mitch Besser when she joined the humanitarian organization “Mothers2Mothers”, which he founded to help children and single mothers infected with HIV, and while they worked together – they fell in love.

Finally happy!

Besser was then married to activist Debra Jackson, with whom he has two sons, but claimed their relationship had been in crisis for a long time. In any case, the paparazzi filmed the singer and the doctor holding hands in the street in June 2011, and his wife filed for divorce the day after the photo was published. Shortly after the process was completed, in September 2012, Annie Lennox and Mitch Besser were married on a ship sailing on the Thames. The bridesmaids were her daughters Lola and Tali, and the celebration was also attended by Ena’s good friends, actor Colin Firth and comedian Ruby Wax.

It seemed to be the culmination of one of the happiest years in Annie Lennox’s life. In 2012, she was a guest at the celebration of the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and performed at the closing of the Olympic Games in London, thus once again confirming her star status.

Professional success and emotional happiness brought her the much desired peace and stability. After years of searching, she reconciled with the demons of the past, and summarizes her current philosophy of life in a few sentences:

– I’m not afraid of anything, but there is no death. There’s only one thing I’m terrified of: tapping in place. For me, it’s a slow dying, and I don’t agree to that. The future has not happened yet, we cannot change or bring back the past. Therefore, we are left with the present. My position is simple: everything should be done so that our present is such that we can enjoy it. Life is too short to waste time on unimportant things anyway.

 

 

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