”It’s ironic, it’s humorous,” says Annie Lennox of the title of her solo debut, Diva. ”It’s a joke about myself and about the situation that a female performer is put in.” The less-than-glamorous photo inside the CD booklet, she adds, reveals ”the person behind the facade.”
Sure enough, Lennox, 37, is far from the steely androgyne one might expect from her stage persona; she is extremely charming, voluble, and perhaps a little nervous about being interviewed.
Since her last tour with Eurythmics in 1990, Lennox has raised money for Shelter, a London-based homeless organization, appeared in an upcoming film version of Edward II, and borne a daughter with her second husband, filmmaker Uri Fruchtman. Yet something was missing. ”I looked into myself and thought, ‘What do I want to do with my life?”’ she says. ”And I realized that I missed making music.”
Reuniting with fellow Eurythmic Dave Stewart was not an option. ”Dave and I, artistically and personally, have grown in separate directions,” says Lennox, noting that while recording their last album ”it was hard for us to stay in the same room.” (For the record, the duo is still together officially, though they have no plans to make a new album.)
Still, Lennox did consider a musical partner for her solo project. ”But at the end of the day,” she says, ”I understood that I had to do it alone.” She wrote nearly every song on Diva, with producer Steve Lipson and synth whiz Marius de Vries helping on the nuts and bolts.
”It’s not as aggressive, as bristling with rage as compared with other things I’ve written,” says Lennox. ”I’m so mercurial; I change my mood every five seconds, so how could I be expected to make a record that sounded like ‘Sweet Dreams Part 52’?”