Annie Lennox: ‘It would be so fucking powerful if Rihanna spoke out against domestic violence’

Lennox says 'Talk That Talk' star could become 'tremendous spokesperson' for the issue

Annie Lennox has said that it would be “so fucking powerful” if Rihanna publicly spoke out against domestic abuse.

The ‘Talk That Talk’ star has been at the centre of controversy recently following her decision to collaborate with her ex-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, for a remix of her track ‘Birthday Cake’. Brown attacked Rihanna on the evening of the 2009 Grammy Awards and was subsequenrly sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community labour, with a US court rejecting his plea to end his probation term last month (February 10).

In an interview with The Telegraph, Lennox said that Rihanna could become a “tremendous spokesperson” for the issue if she decided to make her views on domestic abuse public, but also conceded she should not be forced into discussing her own experiences.


“Here is a young woman who has been through domestic violence and she could become a tremendous spokesperson for that issue but the choice is hers,” she said. “It’s not up to anybody else to do that.”

She went on to add:

Of course if she did choose to do that it would be so fucking powerful but it’s her personal right to choose it or not. We all have our own issues and we have to deal with them in our own way.

Lennox also criticised pop stars who rely on their sexuality to boost their popularity, adding: “The world has become more sexualised. I thought the world was already sexualised when I was younger but it sells and sells and now it’s just a marketing device. The display of sexuality is part of our nature but I think when it becomes a cliché and that’s the only thing you are using to draw people’s attention it becomes one-dimensional.”

The singer is set to host the EQUALS Live show as part of the WOW – Women of the World festival at London’s Southbank Centre on March 9 and will also perform with Katy B as part of the event. She said: “I’m so proud to be hosting an evening of British female artists in celebration of International Women’s Day. EQUALS Live at Southbank Centre will shine a spotlight on an incredible new generation of women in music who are raising their voices in solidarity with women across the globe.”

Jess Mills and Emeli Sandé will also appear at the show, while Gaggle, Sinead O’Connor and Emmy The Great will be taking part in the festival – which takes place March 7-11 – with live performances. For more information visit: