My blogs are dedicated to great singers from all over the world, great actors and actresses, music and memories.
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Blossoms will run away -
Cakes reign but a Day.
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Is pink eternally
(Emily Dickinson)

Amanda Lear

Here are 5 standards performed by the glamorous Amanda Lear.
Amanda Lear is a French singer, lyricist, painter, television presenter, actress and former model.
She was born, according to her statement on an Italian TV show, in Hong Kong on 18 November 1946 – but, in an interview to French newspaper Libération from 16 August 2010, answering the interviewer about her birthdate, she shows her passport that indicates "Amanda Lear, born on 18 November 1950 in Saigon". Feminine coquetry?
After her parents divorced, Lear grew up in the south of France and in Switzerland, and studied art in Paris and at Saint Martin's School of Art in London. Raised speaking French and English, she learned German, Spanish and Italian in her teens, languages she later was able to use in her professional life. She began her professional career as a fashion model in the mid-1960s and went on to model for Paco Rabanne and Ossie Clark among others. Around that time she met the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and would remain his closest friend and muse for the next 15 years. Lear first came into the public eye as the cover model for Roxy Music's album For Your Pleasure in 1973. From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, she was a million-album-selling disco queen, mainly in Continental Europe and Scandinavia, signed to Ariola Records. Lear's first four albums earned her mainstream popularity, charting in the Top 10 on European charts, including the best-selling Sweet Revenge (1978). Her biggest hits included "Blood and Honey", "Tomorrow", "Queen of Chinatown", "Follow Me", "Enigma (Give a Bit of Mmh to Me)" and "Fashion Pack".
In the mid-1980s Lear positioned herself as one of the leading media personalities in mainland Europe, especially in Italy and in France where she hosted many popular TV shows. She had also developed a successful painting career, regularly exhibiting her works in galleries across Europe for the next three decades, and continued to make music. Amanda's 1980s musical output saw her experimenting with different genres and trying to revive her career by re-recording earlier hits to various levels of success. 1980s also saw her release two books: an autobiography My Life with Dalí and a novel L'Immortelle.
Since the 1990s her time has been divided between music, television, movies and painting. Her television career remained successful, with Lear hosting numerous prime time TV shows, occasionally making guest appearances in French and Italian TV series. She has also performed acting and dubbing roles in independent as well as major film productions. In the late 2000s Lear would reinvent herself as a theatrical actress, performing in long-running stage plays in France. To date, she has sold over 25 million singles and 15 million albums worldwide.
Her 17th album, My Happiness was released in 2014, a tribute album to Elvis Presley. She will release a new album, Let Me Entertain You on 13 May 2016.
Now, something must be said about Lear's alleged transsexual background. It has been commented upon in the media and in the biographies of those who knew Lear earlier in her life, including Salvador Dalí. April Ashley, a famous transsexual entertainer, has long claimed that in the 1950s and early 1960s, she and Lear, whose birth name she claimed was Alain Tapp, were working together in transvestite revues in Paris, Madame Arthur and Le Carrousel. In her book, April Ashley's Odyssey, she recalls Lear performing drag acts under the stage name Peki d'Oslo. Similar facts have been reported by Romy Haag, a transsexual artist living in Germany, who ran a popular nightclub Chez Romy in Berlin and knew Amanda closely, and Bibiana Fernández, a Spanish transsexual actress and singer, as well as by France's most famous transsexual artist Coccinelle. Some sources even insinuate that it was Dalí himself who sponsored Lear's sex change operation in Casablanca in 1963, carried out by doctor Georges Burou. Rumours claiming that Lear was an actual man in drag or even referring to her as a hermaphrodite were circulating at the beginning of her singing career, but they cleared off after she posed nude for Playboy in the late 1970s.
Despite Lear herself contradicting transsexual rumours already in the 1970s and explaining they were a part of strategy to draw public attention, they have persisted to date. When asked by Carmen Thomas in a 1976 interview whether it was true that she was born a male, Lear replied that it was "a crazy idea from some journalist". She would later claim in Interview magazine that it was David Bowie (who called her "a transsexual from Transsylvania") who started the rumour. She would also address these rumours in her songs "Fabulous (Lover, Love Me)" and "I'm a Mistery" (deliberately misspelled as to reference the word "mister"). Despite some sources claiming her transsexual background is an open secret, she would always flatly deny it, even when confronted by the Dalí biographer Ian Gibson during a TV show. 
However, an excerpt from an article from an Italian newspaper surfaced online in November 2011, including a reproduction (established in 1979, but for whom?) of a copy of a birth certificate of a certain Alain Maurice Louis René TAP, born on 18 June 1939 in Saigon, and a picture of a young man, supposed to be Amanda Lear, in order to confirm the old rumour spread by April Ashley and other probably jealous transsexuals.
In July 2006 "Mme Amanda TAPP dite Amanda LEAR" (Mrs. Amanda Tapp, known as Amanda Lear) was made Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French minister of culture. It must be said that Amanda Lear often repeated that her real name was Lear, not Tapp, Lear being actually her first husband's name, and Tapp her father's name (according to her, her father was an English seaman and her mother of Slavic and Mongolian origin). The only strange fact is in the coincidence between both names. Let's note that in certain newspapers Peki's birthdate is 1941, and she is supposed to have a father from Oslo! But there is a logical explaination, keeping in mind that Amanda Lear always intended to create her life, and that the certificate might be a fake, only destined to humiliate Lear, who has the right not to recall constantly her past (and if we do here, it's just to destroy all the false rumors):
before becoming a model and a singer, she (unless it was her brother!) could very well work in a transvestite revue as Peki d'Oslo, although she was a girl (but, at that time, many girls would impersonate boys impersonating girls, as in "Victor Victoria"). Yet in the interview on the above-mentioned Italian TV show, she was confronted with the famous picture of Alain Tap and she admitted that, in spite of some ressemblance, she was not him. Of another nude model presented as Peki d'Oslo, she admitted the same. But, so many years after that time, it is clearly understandable that she wished to erase that period. Otherwise what would have thought real transsexuals of a girl pretending to be a boy wishing to be a woman? In the same way that, after she became a model, other models were embarrassed that she might have been a man!
Also, being afraid her name would be associated with some racy pictures or in certain embarrassing situations, Lear happened to use the name Peki d'Oslo. 
So Amanda Lear constantly invented her life, playing with the names and confusing people. But she always repeated (see for example an interview to German TV from 30 May 1976) that she never wanted to change sex and that she was absolutely not concerned with transsexuality!
It must be added that Peki d’Oslo/Tap could have been Jeanne Bascunana, known as Nana. She was born (male name unknown) on 10 July 1939 (same year as Tap) in Oran, Algeria (Coccinelle, when speaking of Peki, noted that most of her models were from Oran), and passed away on 10 November 2014 in Lorient, France. She was a transvestite and former model of Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, in the early 1960s. Her Facebook account is still open. Some pictures show a striking ressemblance between Tap/Peki and Nana. But this is sheer coincidence, and Amanda Lear became someone very different!

Amanda/Amande/Peki (d'Oslo) before Amanda, but always a (funny) girl!

A fake?


Anyway, dressing as a man was also a hobby of Marlene Dietrich (one of Lear’s influences) who was never taken for a man! Let's also recall that the French singers Sheila and Dalida were taken for men, and had much to suffer from it. By chance, Amanda Lear is not without a sense of humour!

Enjoy Amanda Lear’s beauty and unique style!

 Amanda as Marilyn Monroe

Amanda as Josephine Baker

What now my love

C'est magnifique

Is that all there is

Mad about the boy


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