Here are 5 standards performed by the glamorous Amanda Lear.
Amanda Lear (born 1939, 1946 or 1950) is a French singer, lyricist, painter, television presenter, actress and former model.
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.
Lear's alleged transsexual background 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. 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 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 of a copy of Lear's birth certificate, which states that she was born Alain Maurice Louis René Tap on 18 June 1939 in Saigon, and a picture of Lear as a young man.
Actually, still often identified as Peki d’Oslo, it must be said that Amanda Lear IS NOT Peki d’Oslo. Peki d’Oslo was Jeanne Bascunana, known as Nana, a transvestite and former model of Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, in the early 1960s. She can be contacted on Facebook, and the many pictures are eloquent enough!
Moreover, dressing as a man was also a hobby of Marlene Dietrich (one of Lear’s influences)…
Enjoy Amanda Lear’s beauty and unique style!
Amanda as Marilyn Monroe
Amanda as Josephine Baker
What now my love
Is that all there is
Mad about the boy