Annie Lennox gets OBE honour for Oxfam role

image captionLennox is a Unesco Goodwill Ambassador for Aids

Scottish singer Annie Lennox has been made an OBE in the New Year Honours List for her charity work with Oxfam.

Aberdeen-born Lennox, 56, who now lives in London, said she was "genuinely honoured" to receive the award.

The ex-Eurythmics singer is an Oxfam ambassador and founded SING campaign to raise awareness of Aids in Africa.

"As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I've done something terribly right - or they've done something terribly wrong," she said.

"In any case, whatever powers that be have deemed me worthy of such a recognition, I'm getting my fake leopard pillbox hat dusted and ready."

The singer - whose hits include Sweet Dreams and There Must Be An Angel as one half of the Eurythmics, and the multi-award winning album Diva as a solo star - added: "I'm genuinely honoured to be part of the New Year's Honours list for 2010.

"I was never much of one to win prizes... and certainly never placed too much value on their acquisition.

"Therefore, I take this as more of an appreciation for the gentle turning of the years for someone who's enormously grateful for being able to breathe more or less freely in a totally insane world."

Lennox, who was born on Christmas Day, released her latest album in November - A Christmas Cornucopia - topping off three decades of UK chart hits.

As a child Lennox had shown musical promise, learning to play the piano and joining Miss Auchinachie's choir in Aberdeen at the age of seven. There she immersed herself in Scottish folk songs, hymns and carols.

She went on to study at the Royal Academy Of Music as a flautist, but dropped out of the course and taking up shop and bar work to make ends meet.

Peace album

Friends introduced her and musician Dave Stewart, with whom she formed a band The Catch, later to become the Tourists.

Lennox and Stewart - who at one stage also had a personal relationship - continued, creating the duo Eurythmics.

It took them until 1983 and their sixth single, Sweet Dreams, to make an impression on the charts, but the hits continued until the end of the decade.

The biggest came in 1985 with the group's only chart-topping single There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) - on which Stevie Wonder played a harmonica solo.

Lennox was joined on vocal duties by "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin for the group's next hit, the anthemic Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves.

Throughout their run of success, the band's image was focused largely on Lennox's famous androgynous look, with Stewart happy to fade into the background.

Tour profits

Lennox collected the Best Female Singer title at the Brit Awards on six different occasions.

The group was put on hold in the early 1990s, as Lennox gave birth to the first of her two daughters.

In 1992, Lennox re-emerged as a solo act with hits such as Why and Walking On Broken Glass.

Eurythmics briefly reformed in 1999 for the album Peace, but Lennox's devotion to charity work was already taking prominence, with profits from the ensuing tour going to Amnesty International and Greenpeace.

She has long campaigned to raise awareness of Aids in Africa and established SING, inspired by Nelson Mandela, in 2007 to help children and women affected by the disease.

Lennox is also a Unesco Goodwill Ambassador for Aids and a prominent peace activist.

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