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Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox


Since bursting onto the charts with 1983's number 1 synth-pop smash "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics have been confounding showbiz conventions, whether via Annie's gender-bending look or the band's ever-evolving sound. For their 25th anniversary the duo just released Eurythmics Ultimate Collection plus deluxe reissues of eight studio albums. With over 75 million records sold, they're still making music, such as their triumphant new single, "I Got a Life," and Annie's 2003 Oscar-winning solo, "Into The West" (from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King). Eurythmics keep seeing their sweet dreams come true.

Because androgyny has been integral to your visual presentation, during Eurythmics' initial flush of success did you have publicists telling you to make sure U.S. journalists knew you weren't a lesbian? [My image] did seem to cause some kind of furor. The more reactionary slab of the American population reacted, in some ways, with horror. I remember once they asked me to provide my passport to prove that I was a woman and not a man.

You've sported a lot of images, from classic Hollywood-style femininity to the butch drag of "Who's That Girl?" But Dave has always dressed down. Did you ever try to coerce him into slipping on something more ladylike? Oh, we had to stop Dave from getting into dresses. Eurythmics is a partnership of two. And we always gravitate toward whatever role is appropriate for either one of us. But I had to say, "I'm going to be the one in the dress, dear!"

In "17 Again" from 1999's Peace, you refer to "all those fake celebrities / and all those vicious queens." What inspired that lyric? If you become a successful person, with a public persona, at the same time that you are put up on a pedestal, at some point you will also be reviled. It's an interesting walk. Because you can bask in this notion that people seem to appreciate you, and it all feels fabulous, and within five seconds you can swiftly be thrown into the pit of the lions. And when it gets personal it can be hurtful.

You appeared in the Derek Jarman film Edward II, which he shot while suffering from AIDS. What did you learn from him? Derek was an incredibly gracious individual. Elegant... and I'm not talking about a superficial elegance. And he had an incredible capacity for work, this strength to keep going, against the most adversarial conditions. Derek was working 10 times harder [while ill] than any fit person would have done. That left an indelible impression on me.

Where do you keep your Academy Award? Do I have an Academy Award? I guess I do have an Oscar now, don't I? I have a place where I keep these things. A couple are at home, but there's no special glass cabinet. That would be a little unseemly.

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