Annie Lennox Confronts ‘Strange Fruit’ Criticism

Courtesy of berklee.edu
Courtesy of berklee.edu

Annie Lennox addressed the controversy surrounding her remarks regarding “Strange Fruit,” a song about anti-lynching. “It was so painful. I can’t even begin to tell you. I’m the last person who would disrespect that history.” During an interview last fall, Lennox was promoting her album, Nostalgia, that includes a remake of Billie Holiday‘s “Strange Fruit” song. The singer failed to mention the origin of the 1930s song, which was a direct attack on African-American hangings of the era. Blog sites, posts on social media, and critics accused Lennox of “whitewashing” the true meaning of the song. Instead of addressing the lynchings, Lennox touched on human violence and bigotry

Lennox also said that her comments were taken out of context. “Let me just say that if I offended anyone–anyone— about not mentioning the lynchings, I wholeheartedly apologize. It was never intended and I was hurt.” Lennox reiterated she really cares about social injustice and racism. She referred to racism as “vile” and “disturbing.” A DVD about her album Nostalgia does include the singer’s comment that “Strange Fruit” is about lynchings in the Deep South

Annie Lennox achieved worldwide success as the member of the Eurythmics. The duo’s second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) featured the hit single of the same name. The song peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has been referred to as the duo’s “signature song.” The Eurythmics have released nine studio albums, and they have sold an estimated seventy-five million records worldwide. 

In 1992, Lennox embarked on a solo career and released her debut album, Diva. The album featured the singles “Why,” and “Walking on Broken Glass.” Her second effort, Medusa, peaked at Number 1 on the UK Albums Chart. The album went on to sell over six million copies worldwide, and it won a Grammy award for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance in 1996. Throughout her career, Lennox has won four Grammy Awards, a Billboard Century Award, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Into the West.” Annie Lennox’s album Nostalgia is nominated for Best Traditional Pop Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Must Read

4 New Books About Music Perfect for Winter Snowstorms

It’s the middle of winter, and there’s not much going on. Television will be preempted by the Olympics. Opportunities to get outside are scarce....

Ingrid Michaelson: ‘Time Machine’ Music Video Review

Ingrid Michaelson is involved in some of the most creative music videos I’ve ever seen. She loves to turn things on their head just...

The 10 Best Fictional Bands: Jem, St. Pepper, The Folksmen and More

The Wonders Tom Hanks was fresh off an unprecedented string of hit movies as a leading man when he decided to try his hand...

Related Articles

4 New Books About Music Perfect for Winter Snowstorms

It’s the middle of winter, and there’s not much going on. Television will be preempted by the Olympics. Opportunities to get outside are scarce....

Ingrid Michaelson: ‘Time Machine’ Music Video Review

Ingrid Michaelson is involved in some of the most creative music videos I’ve ever seen. She loves to turn things on their head just...

The 10 Best Fictional Bands: Jem, St. Pepper, The Folksmen and More

The Wonders Tom Hanks was fresh off an unprecedented string of hit movies as a leading man when he decided to try his hand...

The Surprising Stories Behind America’s Favorite Patriotic Songs

Born in the U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen’s "Born in the U.S.A." has always featured at political rallies for both Republicans and Democrats. But the true meaning...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here