the 2008 american music awards honored annie lennox with their version of the lifetime achievement award. before she received the crystal pyramid from justine timberlake, whom the host called the most attractive man in america or some other thing hard for people of my demographic category to swallow, she sang Why.
its the kind of song people like but do not admit to liking. like depeche mode's Somebody, for example. though its a notch better than saying you are fond of air supply, its much less cooler than knowing the lyrics of an obscure british band song from the 80s, like... wait. i don't know the lyrics to any obscure british band song.
so annie lennox sang why accompanying herself on the piano, effortlessly proving herself deserving of the award. HOWEVER, she sang the song without the extended wailing of the title, the part where you go "whaaa-aaa-aa-aa-ay?". it was disconcerting and a bit annoying.
yen: why didn't she say the why lines?
he didn't even notice and must have thought it was a new song, so different sounding as it was. don't get me wrong, i loved her performance. it was just that you would get irritated too if they removed the haunting ambient sounds at the start Somebody.
of course they gave her a standing ovation. but what really confirmed her idol status for me was that during her acceptance speech, the first thing she mentioned was her gratitude to her eurhythmics partner dave stewart. george michael never ever mentions that other wham guy, andrew ridgeley. and, still in her acceptance speech, she admitted to being 53. madonna never ever mentions her age.
to have that unusual voice, to be such an electrifying performer, and to have the confidence to admit to being old, and acknowledge that other people helped you. this is an ungrammatical sentence but i want to keep it that way.
i like her first picture up top but this picture below is how i best remember her. she was a chic androgynous dresser. i love her clothes much, much more than, say, pussycat dolls' (during the rare times that they remember to put on clothes). i think british celebrities outdo americans in the dress department. that's probably why madonna and gwynneth live in london now.
annie lennox reminds me a little julie andrews and sinead o connor. they have a lot in common: the close cropped hair, the provenance (scotland, england, ireland respectively), the stage presence, the otherworldly voice.
annie may be a little less sweet than dame andrews perhaps
and a little less belligerent than sinead
but she really does make me wish i were british.