Few musicians will ever experience the international renown that Scottish recording artist Annie Lennox has enjoyed. In total, as one half of the Eurythmics and as a solo artist, she’s sold over 80 million albums. Now 56, the Oscar winner, United Nations AIDS ambassador, and officer of the Order of the British Empire has turned her attention to full-time activism, campaigning on behalf of women and children around the world affected by HIV/AIDS.
In the May/June issue of HIVPlus magazine, Lennox talks about why she started SING after meeting Nelson Mandela, how she learned about the dire conditions of women and children, and how she keeps her spirits high in the face of a seemingly overwhelming problem.
“The thing that was more significant than meeting [Mandela] was his press conference at Robben Island,” Lennox says. “He was talking about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and especially how it affected women and girls, and it struck me that he used the word ‘genocide.’ I had not heard that term being used in connection with the AIDS pandemic, and it struck me. To hear it emanating from Mandela, it was a hugely significant statement and yet one I hadn’t read about it in the front pages of newspapers, as one would think something so serious and significant should have.”
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