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Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, 1954. Making her even more special was the fact that she was born on Christmas Day. An only child, her mother, Dorothy, was a cook and her father, Tom, a boilermaker.

Her parents were supportive of her interest in the Arts - especially poetry, music and drawing. Her great promise in these subjects was recognised by the Aberdeen School for Girls which she attended from the age of four.

During her time in education, Annie learned to play the piano, flute, and also sang in the choir. She would go on to play in symphony orchestras and military bands and attended the dance classes of Marguerite Feltges who, interestingly, introduced pupils to a form of Greek Dance known as 'Eurhythmics'!

Although Annie was especially good at 'being musical', her teachers could be unsympathetic towards her as she was not as good at more academic subjects such as maths. However, they would still make the effort to praise her other more obvious artistic talents.

During her teenage years, Annie gained an interest in motown music - listening to the sounds of The Supremes and Marvin Gaye. An interesting statement she made of this time was when she attended a party and was given the opportunity to DJ for the night. She decided to play A Whiter Shade Of Pale repeatedly, because it always went down a storm, and of course, Annie later covered this track on her Medusa album many years later!

By the age of 17, Annie had won herself a place at London's prestigious Royal Academy Of Music. Before leaving for the capital in September 1971, she utilised her Summer break by making money in a frozen fish factory.

Lennox spent the next three years at the Academy studying classical music, but she ended up leaving just weeks before her final exams, unhappy with the direction her life was going in. Of her time she speaks: "Unfortunately, I never really fit in there so I spent the next three years looking for something better to do."

The years following her departure were marred with uncertainty, and her parents were anxious that she had missed her best opportunity of fame and fortune. Nevertheless, she stuck her time out in London for the next three years and gained a job in a bookstore. During this time she met up with Steve Tomlin - whose own record collection introduced Annie to Stevie Wonder. She could empathise with some of the lyrics from his songs and he's a musician she's admired ever since. Ironically of course, Stevie would go on to collaborate with the Eurythmics on There Must Be An Angel some years later and also presented them with an lifetime achievement award at the Brits, 1999.

For now however, the ambition was there, but the recognition seemed (and was) a long way off. Obviously inspired though, Annie took to singing lessons and admits to Joni Mitchell being a strong influence in her music and in defining her lyrics. Following a competition win in which she sang various Scottish folk songs, Annie toured local pubs and clubs in a band known as Dragon's Playground, but she soon grew tired and joined another act, the more established, Red Brass.

Following this, Annie auditioned for a touring jazz singer who was advertising for three female backing singers. Annie, Joy Dey and another girl won the audition (held in Covent Garden, London), but little came from the promised tours - other than a few rehearals and dance classes.

Annie suggested Joy and herself look for work as a duo as their voices appeared to blend very well. This they did, and their hard work paid off when they found a manager (from The Stage magazine), who then helped put together a programme for the cabaret duo to perform.

The manager suggested the name "Stocking Tops" which they didn't care that much for, but for whatever reason went along with it. For a while they toured South London clubs until they were sick of it. Both eventually parted ways but remained on good terms. Incidentally, Joy Dey is now an accomplished opera singer and has just released a fine album titled 'One Fine Dey'.

In mid 76', Annie took a job as a waitress at Pippins Restaurant in Hampstead, London, and it was here that she would meet her future partner Dave Stewart. His first words to her being "Will you marry me?". Although Annie remarks of this meeting "I Thought He was a complete nutter!", the two learned that they did infact have things in common both musically and personally and soon after, they moved in together...

(read the entire bio at http://www.annie-lennox.com/)

--- from the official Annie Lennox website

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Annie Lennox
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2003

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