The Inventory: Annie Lennox

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Annie Lennox, 55, is one of the world’s best-selling recording artists. Her Annie Lennox Foundation and the Sing campaign support African women and children affected by HIV and Aids.

What was your childhood ambition?

I can’t say that I had a clearly defined ambition as a child. I was very aware of music, and how much I connected to it. I also loved painting and drawing or anything artistic. I had no idea that I wanted to sing, write, record and perform until I was about 20, when I realised that was the direction I wanted to take.

Public school or state school? University or straight into work?

I attended Aberdeen High School for Girls from the age of four and a half till the time I left 13 years later. It was a state school, but it was considered quite posh, as you had to wear a uniform and pass a test to get in. After leaving school I attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, but I had loads of part-time jobs to supplement my income.

Who is your mentor?

I’ve had a few people throughout my life who’ve inspired me, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a mentor per se.

How physically fit are you?

A lot less than I was two years ago, when I had to have an operation on my spine. My left foot is now permanently numb, which has had quite an impact on me.

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I’d start with talent first, but then you need focus and drive in order to develop and progress. Ambition by itself won’t get you that far.

Have you ever taken an IQ test?

Not since I was four and a half!

How politically committed are you?

When it comes to political parties, I’m an agnostic, to be frank. I dedicate half my time to issues of human rights and social justice, especially with regard to women in developing countries.

Do you consider your carbon footprint?

Not enough.

Do you have more than one home?

Yes.

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

Nothing. I have more than enough.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

According to my accountant, it’s my car, because I don’t use it enough.

In what place are you happiest?

In my bed.

What ambitions do you still have?

I don’t see myself as being particularly ambitious. For me, it’s more a question of harnessing my passion and creating something wonderful through that. It’s more about living life in the most authentic way you can, being inspired and having vision.

What drives you on?

I’m intensely curious about life.

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

The safe delivery of my two daughters, not forgetting the wonderful doctors and nurses who had a great deal to do with it.

What has been your greatest disappointment?

Let-downs and betrayals by people I should never have associated with.

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would she think?

She would be absolutely stunned.

If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?

Call my lawyer!

Do you believe in an afterlife?

I have no idea whatsoever. I’m just trying to deal with the one I’ve got right now.

If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?

I’d give it an eight. There’s always room for some improvement.

Annie Lennox’s album, ‘A Christmas Cornucopia’, is released on November 15 and the single, ‘Universal Child’, is available from November 13. Proceeds from ‘Universal Child’ go to the Annie Lennox Foundation

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