Even in the gender-bending heyday of Eurythmics, when videos ruled the music world, Lennox’s voice rose above imagery to become one of the era’s most distinctive features. Here was a formidable singer, one who caused shivers in listeners. It was entirely fitting that when she embarked on a solo career in 1992, her debut album was titled simply Diva. Now the multiple Grammy winner has set her divine voice to classics from the American Songbook. But the collection, she insists, is not a covers album. “These are interpretations of these songs,” says Lennox, who turns 60 this Christmas Day. “I went deeper because, for me, the origin of these songs is the blues. Blues comes from something both beautiful and painful.” Annie expertly plumbs the depths of pain and beauty on “Strange Fruit” and “The Nearness of You.” And when the Scottish-born diva goes deep into “Georgia on My Mind,” it’s spine-tinglingly good.
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