Lulu Biography

Actress, Singer, Journalist(1948–)
Lulu is a Scottish-born singer who performed "To Sir With Love" and appeared in the classic film of the same name alongside Sidney Poitier.

Synopsis

Scottish singer Lulu was born on November 3, 1948, in Lennox Castle, Glasgow. Growing up, she was the eldest of four and resided in a two-room tenement in Lennoxtown. Lulu went on to become best known in the United States for her performance of the song "To Sir With Love," which was featured in the 1967 film of the same name, starring Sidney Poitier. She continues to perform till to this day on solo projects, as well as in collaborative efforts—and has also tackled endeavors in film and books, and on TV and the stage.

Early Years

Famed singer Lulu was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie on November 3, 1948, in Glasgow, Scotland. Lulu may have inherited her stellar voice from her dad, who worked in a meat market. At age 15, she had already become a singing sensation.

Lulu went on to earn her place in the spotlight in May 1964, with her standout version of The Isley Brothers' tune "Shout." At the time, she was part of the group the Luvvers. However, after a few more chart toppers, Lulu decided to venture out as a solo artist. In 1966, she went on a tour with British band the Hollies that included a concert in Poland, which made Lulu the first female singer from England to sing live behind the Iron Curtain.

Acting and Stardom

One year later, though, was when Lulu really made an international splash as both a singer and an actress. She appeared in the 1967 film To Sir, With Love alongside Sidney Poitier. She belted out the film's theme song (which had the same title as the movie) in a memorable scene. The song skyrocketed to No. 1 on the charts in America. Simultaneously, Lulu's success back in Britain continued with more hits and TV appearances. In fact, in 1968, she became the host her own BBC 1 TV series, Happening for Lulu. More TV work would follow throughout her life.

Personal Life

At the same time that many changes were transpiring in the young star's professional life, just as many dramatic events were taking place in her private one. At age 20, on February 18, 1969, Lulu got hitched to Bee Gees band member Maurice Gibb, who himself was only 19 at the time. But like many celebrity pairings, this one faltered. After just four years, the two split, which Lulu attributed in various interviews to Gibb's rock 'n' roll lifestyle and excessive drinking. In 1977, the singer tied the knot with hairdresser John Frieda. Their union lasted 20 years and produced one son, Jordan Frieda. Lulu has admitted in press interviews and in her 2002 memoir I Don't Want to Fight that she was also romantically linked to the late Davy Jones of the Monkees and the iconic performer David Bowie.

Constant Career Highlights

Between and after her marriages, Lulu continued to achieve many memorable successes in a variety of entertainment areas. In 1974, she crooned the title song to the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun. In, 1984, she starred in a London revival of the musical Guys and Dolls. Lulu has always worked hard to stay relevant over the decades. Along with the British boy band Take That, in 1993 she recorded a cover version of the Dan Hartman song "Relight My Fire," which reached No. 1 on the British charts. That same year, she achieved her first hit as a songwriter, the Grammy-nominated tune "I Don't Wanna Fight," which was recorded by Tina Turner.

The new millennium was also good to Lulu. She was honored as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2000 by the British government. Two years later, Lulu put out a duets album, teaming up with such mega-musicians as Paul McCartney and Elton John. She also published a book in 2010, Lulu's Secrets to Looking Good. The artist seems to show no desire to slow down in any facet of her life.

Lulu said in 2010 on the Daily Mail's website, "I'm 62 this year and people often ask me how I look so good for my age. I eat well, exercise and I know what looks good on me. I'm a grandmother to Isabella, who was born just after Christmas, which is an absolute joy. I never want to retire."

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