She looks more fabulous at 61 than she did at 21, and she knows it. Famous at 15 for her hit single “Shout” and a few years later for her international smash “To Sir with Love”, Lulu has managed to reinvent her look and her career more often and more successfully than any other 60s singer.
She’s just completed another new project, a short tour with singers Chaka Khan and Anastacia, called Here Come the Girls, she has a book – Lulu’s Secrets To Looking Good – out in March and she flogs Time Bomb, a line of anti-ageing skin care products on British shopping channel QVC.
She’s coy about face lifts and quotes Madonna on the topic; “I am not against cosmetic surgery; I am against talking about it.”
Live and Let Live
She admits to having “done the Botox thing – been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I am not into doing that any more. But who am I to say to anyone else, “Don’t do this, don’t do that”? Live and let live, I say. Being judgmental is very ageing.’
And she wouldn’t want to turn the clock back. “Women can now look and feel good for a lifetime,” she said in an interview with the UK newspaper the Daily Mail to launch her book.
“We are living longer, we are living more healthily, science is more advanced; and as a result my generation has the chance to be ageless.
“It would never have occurred to my mother that she could write a book or start a business at 60; now women can do whatever they like, be whoever they want,’ she says with a smile (a smile, she points out in one of her tips in her book, is an ‘instant face-lift’).
Twice married – first to Bee Gee Maurice Gibb, she had a son Jordan in her second marriage to John Frieda but now says living alone – in Maida Vale with her West Highland terrier Clyde – suits her.
She doesn’t rule out the idea of meeting but looking for love is not high on her agenda and she doesn’t envisage marrying again.
‘If I did meet someone it wouldn’t be the same as I thought a relationship should be in the past. Women used to think that their partner should be everything to them – father, mother, brother, sister, lover, friend – and I don’t think that’s the case any more.’
And Grandmother Too
Her son Jordan has had a baby daughter Isabella Rose and grandmotherhood (the family now call her Nana Lu) fits nicely with all the other roles in Lulu’s life.
She is constantly challenging herself (‘I like to shake things up’) she is currently taking a creative writing course, and last year she studied social science at university level.
But music remains her primary passion. Unlike many of her male contemporaries she is not caught in a ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’ (her 1969 joint-Eurovision-winning song) time warp. Her iPod is a veritable showcase of young talent – she loves Rihanna (‘Oh my God, she is amazing!’) – and during the Here Come the Girls tour she was happier singing ‘Lady Marmalade’ than her own 1960s standards.
Looking Good ‘At Any Age’
The premise of Lulu’s book is to help other women to look as good as she does ‘at any age’.
Asked if she could pick out the five most important tips from the book she is, for a moment, lost for words.
‘Well, that’s difficult. I think less is more is a good rule as you grow older, particularly when it comes to make-up. And a good haircut is key, as is learning to play up your good points.
Above all, if you are open to new things, then life is a wonderful adventure. It’s about enjoying yourself, not torturing yourself; not making it a chore.