Five Things You Didn’t Know About Annie Lennox

Heila Nir | April 3, 2015

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Scottish musician and singer Annie Lennox is a social icon as well as political activist and philanthropist. Her success in the 1980s with the Eurythmics along with her solo career in the 1990s won her a number of awards. As both a mother, Lennox is strongly committed to speaking about issues affecting women and children, including HIV. Learn more about Annie Lennox’s achievements:

Early Childhood
Lennox’s music career began at age 17, when she won a scholarship to London’s Royal Academy of Music where she studied the flute, piano and harpsichord. In an interview with BBC Radio, Lennox admits she wasn’t happy at the music school. She avoided her history-of-music classes, which she hated, and focused on working part-time jobs for extra money.

Behind Sweet Dreams
In 1983, music duo Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and David Stewart) released one of their biggest hits, Sweet Dreams. In an interview with VOGUE, Annie Lennox shares that the sound was created during a moment when she was about to throw in the towel. She explains: “The line “sweet dreams are made of this”—it was a self-deprecating line. “Who am I to disagree?” It was saying: Here are your stupid dreams. What are they? They’re never going to come true.”

Annie Lennox’s Life on Display
Lennox’s success has spanned four decades and is she internationally known for her contributions to music and style. From September 2011 to February 2012, the Victoria and Albert museum in London celebrated Lennox’s renowned work with The House of Annie Lennox. This display consisted of costumes and accessories worn by Lennox, photographs, personal treasures and awards, memorabilia from her campaigns as well as recorded interviews and music videos. Later that year, the exhibit moved to The Lowry in Salford. It was designed as an installation around the concept of a “House,” providing a journey through the different phases of Lennox’s career.

AIDs Activist
In 2003, Nelson Mandela asked Annie Lennox to perform in an AIDS charity concert. After hearing Mandela speak about the issue of AIDS in Africa, Lennox began to evolve from a singer and performer into an activist. In 2007 she started the SING campaign, raising awareness about the impact of HIV on women and children- particularly in South Africa, Malawi and the UK. In recognition of her hard work, Annie has received many awards; UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, HIV Ambassador of London and special Envoy for HIV and AIDS to Scottish Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Women’s Activist
The focus of the SING campaign is also about empowering women. Lennox believes that AIDS responses should address women and girls in order to make sure they can get access to HIV treatment and care. This relates to raising awareness about gender inequality and gender-based violence.

Great Performances: Annie Lennox: Nostalgia airs Friday, April 3, 2015, at 10 p.m. on THIRTEEN