Amanda Lear

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Amanda Tapp, 1941. This tall, blonde jet-setter of Russian descent performed in burlesque as ‘Peki d’Oslo’ in her teens prior to a short marriage to Alain-Philippe Malignac, a French record producer. In the 70s, she was linked romantically to Bryan Ferry, Oliver Tobias, John Bentley - and, especially, surrealist Salvadore Dali for whom she modelled. She secured a recording contract after an introduction by Marianne Faithfull to David Bowie resulted in Bowie insisting that his Mainman management sign her. After singing lessons from his former teacher, Florence Wiese-Norberg, she was launched as a ‘White Disco Queen’ (in competition with Grace Jones), amid publicity that cast unfounded doubts about her gender and provocative photographs portraying her in cutaway black leotards and high leather boots. Another trademark was her husky vocals likened to ‘gargling with rusty nails’ on singles such as ‘Follow Me’, which earned...

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