Ann Lennox, 25 December 1954, Aberdeen, Scotland. Following the amicable dissolution of the Eurythmics in 1991, the component parts of that band have gone on to widely varying degrees of success. Both of Lennoxs first two solo albums would reach number 1 in the UK charts, the second of which doing so while fellow David A. Stewart was underachieving with Greetings From The Gutter, which failed to break the UK Top 75. In fairness to Stewart, this may have more to do with the publics perceptions of the artists than any measure of their individual talents; Lennox was always the visual focus of their records, while her vocal presence defined their musical charm. She had already enjoyed a US Top 10/UK Top 30 solo hit in 1988, duetting with soul legend Al Green on Put A Little Love In Your Heart, taken from the soundtrack of Scrooged.
In 1990, after winning her fourth Best British Female Artist award at the BRITS ceremony, Lennox returned backstage to tell reporters that she intended to take a two-year sabbatical, and to concentrate on her family life. While pregnant she worked with computer expert Marius de Vries on songs she had recorded as rough demos, a process happily interrupted by the birth of Lennoxs first child, Lola, in December 1990. Her debut solo album was produced with Steve Lipson (Simple Minds) at her home and at Mayfair Studios in London, with co-writing collaborations with the Blue Nile and Jeff Lynne. Diva was released in February 1992 and its number 1 status confirmed that Lennox was still the subject of considerable affection among the British public. The album included the UK Top 10 hit singles Why and Walking On Broken Glass (which also reached the US Top 20).
In February 1993, Lennox reached UK number 3 with Little Bird/Love Song For A Vampire, featured on the soundtrack of Bram Stokers Dracula. Released two years later, Medusa offered a wide-ranging selection of cover versions, mainly of songs that had previously been aired by a male vocalist. The classics included A Whiter Shade Of Pale (the first serious record I bought, according to Lennox) and Take Me To The River, though others were drawn from less familiar sources, including the Lover Speaks No More I Love Yous (a UK number 2 hit), the Clashs Train In Vain, and Blue Niles The Downtown Lights. Aided by Anne Dudleys string arrangements, harmonica, tabla and accordion, it allowed the artist to escape the rigours of lyric writing which had proved such a strain on the previous album. She received her first solo Grammy later in the year when No More I Love Yous won the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award.
Further delay in hearing new material was created by the release of the limited edition live album Live In Central Park. In 1998, Lennox teamed up with Stewart for select live dates that were successful enough for the duo to re-form the Eurythmics and record a new album, Peace. Lennoxs much anticipated new studio album, Bare, was finally released in June 2003. Written in the wake of her recent divorce, the album was a soul-baring critical favourite but ultimately proved much less successful than its predecessors.
Lennox subsequently embarked on her first ever solo tour in support of the album. In 2004, she received Grammy and Academy awards for the soundtrack song Into The West, featured at the close of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. During this period she also worked tirelessly for good causes, most notably helping to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV. Her fourth solo album, Songs Of Mass Destruction, was released in late 2007 to a surprisingly mixed critical response.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.