Lulu

LuluLulu Kennedy-Cairns, OBE (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie), is best known by her stage name Lulu and grew up in Dennistoun. She is a singer-songwriter, actress and television personality who shot to fame in the 1960s, continuing to the present day. She is perhaps most famous for the film To Sir, with Love and Shout, one of her early hits.

She joined a band, the Bellrocks, at the age of 13, appearing with them every Saturday night, before being signed to Decca Records two years later – when she released Shout. In 1966, Lulu toured Poland, becoming the first British female singer to appear live behind the ‘Iron Curtain’, and she recorded two German tracks that same year.

In 1967 she made her debut film To Sir, with Love starring Sidney Poitier. The title song, which she sang, reached number one in the United States selling over a million copies. Just before she represented the United Kingdom in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest with Boom Bang-a-Bang, she married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees. Her entry won and the song became a hit throughout Europe, with versions produced in German, French, Spanish and Italian. Of the song, she later said to John Peel:

I know it's a rotten song, but I won, so who cares? I'd have sung ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’ standing on my head if that's what it took to win ... I am just so glad I didn't finish second like all the other Brits before me; that would have been awful.

In 1974, she performed the title song in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. After separating from Maurice Gibb, Lulu married hairdresser John Frieda in 1977, before they divorced in 1991.

The 1980s saw Lulu take over the West End, with appearances in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance and the National Theatre’s Guys and Dolls, whilst also hosting television programmes for ITV and the BBC. In 1994, she sang with Take That on their single Relight My Fire, which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, and she appeared on Absolutely Fabulous. She also recorded duets with Elton John and Paul McCartney.

She was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2000, and released her autobiography in 2003. She is currently (2010) on tour with Here Come the Girls, a concert series with Heather Small and Anastasia.