Annie Lennox, 54, is one of the most successful British singer/ songwriters ever. She has sold more than 78 million albums and has been awarded an Oscar, numerous Brit awards, Grammys, Ivor Novellos and Golden Globes.
Annie Lennox on singing
I find it amazing that I'm still working as a singer/songwriter. No one told me to do it. My parents had no money, and I had to do lots of jobs to fund myself. I felt that it was my destiny to write songs, to sing and to perform.
I sang a lot as a little girl and entered competitions. I loved singing in choirs, but it was as I got older that I really found my voice. Singing has always given me an exalted feeling. When I start to sing, I step into another way of being – it’s an energy shift. I discovered that as a teenager and, when I close my eyes, I get into a boundless space – I become a different person.
If I hadn’t been a singer, I might have been a photographer or an
artist. But it’s singing I love. I sing all the time and I feel really
good that I’ve expressed myself.
Annie Lennox on her daughters
My daughters' upbringing is very different to mine. With us, there's no generation gap. We have a close relationship and love being together. We'll go to vintage sales together and hang out, then go for a meal. They like that I'm computer literate too – they're into Facebook and I'm into writing my blog.
They don't mind what I do. They’re used to it and think it’s great. Tali said to me the other day, “What you do is really special and that’s cool”. I’ve taken them on tour in the past and they love it – travelling on the bus and seeing the world.
I don't dread the empty-nest syndrome. I haven’t lived my life through my daughters. Some parents devote everything to their children, which must be so hard, and it’s very beautiful. But I’m a working parent, so I’ve always kept my own life. And I’m a divorced parent, so I’ve already experienced time without them. I think I’ll be able to cope; though I don’t get the sense they’ll flee quickly. They like being at home.
Life is not quantifiable in terms of age, but I suppose in my fifties I am more grounded and more at ease in my own skin than when I was younger. I have a confidence that I didn’t have before from the experiences I’ve had. Some of my life has been challenging, but I’m grateful I’m still sane. If you have children, you have to get on with life.
The Annie Lennox Collection is out on 9 March.
Find Annie Lennox's blog and more at annielennox.com
Read this interview in full in the April issue of woman and home magazine. Annie Lennox talks about her childhood, health, friendships and campaigning with Nelson Mandela.