Children of the ’80s, you read that right.
In what is truly a multi-generational flummox, musical ingenue and siren Annie Lennox tells Vogue that she doesn’t belong in the music industry. Someone who has kept the industry accountable by example for close to four decades no longer sees a place for herself in music.
The woman stole the 2015 Grammys and created a 500 percent spike in downloads and sales for her new album Nostalgia, from whence her rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” hails. And yet…
For decades, I had a need to express something inside me that was dark, that needed to be brought out. The words were evocative and I needed to say them. “Here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a memory.” That’s not a happy song. And I don’t want to be unhappy forever. I’d rather be more content than unhappy. They didn’t all come from unhappiness, but there was always that little twist.
I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t belong in the music industry. I’m an outsider. There’s the Annie Lennox persona, but I’m just a person. I am passionate about many, many things. I’m incredibly committed to campaigning for women’s rights. I’m a mother. I read. I walk. I cook. I do a lot of things.
She is quite active with women’s equality, as seen from this past International Women’s Day. For those who don’t know, she owned androgyny in the 80s and, as she recently told Vogue, her success is also her greatest curse.
“Sweet Dreams” is a great song, but to sing it night after night, I don’t understand how people can go on tour and sing the same thing until they feel like they’re a parody of themselves. That’s why I don’t like going on tour. It’s almost a disservice to the song.
It’s like “Happy Birthday,” isn’t it? It’s won about twelve ASCAP awards. It’s so strange because that song was created at a moment when I was about to throw in the towel. I had just had enough. The line “sweet dreams are made of this”—it was a self-deprecating line. “Who am I to disagree?” It was saying: Here are your stupid dreams. What are they? They’re never going to come true.
She has a collection of hits that would impress the most staunch musical cynic. She has championed more causes than she’s made albums. She has won many industry awards, including several Grammys and even an Oscar for her track “Into the West” for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, of all things. Lastly, she is easily considered one of the few active legends of the business.
And that woman feels like she doesn’t have a home in music. So why the PR story? Maybe there’s your clue. Listen below for proof.
Into the West, Grammys 2004
I’ve Put a Spell on You, Grammys 2015