At 54, Annie Lennox keen to keep her artist's edge

Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:54pm EST
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the mid-1980s when singer Annie Lennox wore mens' suits, sported an orange crew-cut and faced constant questions about her androgynous image, she responded by coming to sing at the Grammy awards in full drag.

Now after four solo albums, divorce, and a new greatest hits CD, the outspoken Scottish-born singer who first won fame as part of pop duo Eurythmics says those times are long out of fashion.

"It became passé," she told Reuters.

But the 54-year-old Lennox, whose first retrospective CD "The Annie Lennox Collection" gets its U.S. release this week, says she still wants to retain her image as an artist on the edge of pop music and culture, as well as a powerful woman.

"I am thinking "OK, I don't want to end up like the proverbial 'mutton dressed as lamb' but how am I going to do this aging thing gracefully?" she said.

"I still want to be an empowered performer, an empowered woman. I want women to see that and think, 'It's OK, she's got a few wrinkles and it's fine.' I don't have to lie about my age ... What's to be ashamed of? And what is so wrong about being older?"

Her new 14-song album features such hits as "Walking on Broken Glass," "No More I Love You's," "Why," and two new songs including "Shining Light" -- a cover of the best-selling 2001 single by Irish rockers Ash.

The album, which she calls "a grand bow out before I go and do the next thing" is her last with her record label of 30 years, Sony BMG, and she has yet to sign with another label.   Continued...

<p>Singer Annie Lennox poses for a portrait in New York, February 10, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>