Lennox grew up as part of a poor family in Aberdeen, Scotland. The one ‘luxury’ she was afforded as a child was weekly piano lessons. She excelled in music, going on to study flute and classical music theory at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London. After leaving school, Lennox followed her creative urges down the rabbit hole, making a name for herself as part of a moderately successful New Wave band called The Tourists. In the early 1980s, Lennox formed the band Eurythmics with long-time collaborator Dave Stewart. Shortly thereafter, songs like “Sweet Dreams,” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” and “Would I Lie To You?” brought Eurythmics to the top of the pop music charts throughout Europe and the United States. The band’s sound greatly contributed to the synth-heavy, atmospheric pop that shaped the 1980s, while Lennox’s androgynous stage persona established her as a fearless icon – a symbol of protest for social equality.
Just as Eurythmics emerged as a pivotal force in music at the turn of the decade in 1980, Annie Lennox’s solo career didn’t miss a beat entering into the 1990s. The songs “Why,” and “Walking on Broken Glass” cemented her status as a truly great songwriter and as one of the best-selling artists of all time, with 80 million records sold and counting. Over her fruitful career, Lennox has won four Grammys, an Academy Award, and eight BRIT awards – more than any other female artist.
In addition to meeting the demands of her lifestyle as an elite-tier recording artist, Lennox has championed a number of issues affecting the lives of people from all walks of life and nationalities. She has been a vocal supporter of Greenpeace and Amnesty International for decades, even donating all of the profits of the 1999 Eurythmics reunion concert tour to these two foundations. She was a featured performer at the 2007 Nobel Peace Price Concert. That same year, Lennox founded The SING Campaign, named after a collaborative effort simply entitled “Sing” that Lennox released in order to raise money and awareness for families affected by HIV/AIDS, largely focusing its efforts on the tragic suffering that continues to go on in Africa. The song features performances by Lennox and 23 other female artists, including Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Sarah McLachlan, Angelique Kidjo, Gladys Knight, and Madonna, to name a few. In just a few years, over £1 million has been raised for the cause. Perhaps Lennox’s greatest honor to date, she was appointed as an Office of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for her tireless efforts as a humanitarian and social rights activist.
Through her music, words, and actions, Annie Lennox has touched the lives of countless people. Even so, the most important lesson she has put out into the world is that seemingly impossible goals can be achieved when people band together, and that a life spent helping people is the only life worth living.