Discovering new music can feel like an endless quest, especially if you’re hunting for artists similar to a legendary act such as Annie Lennox. A groundbreaking Scottish singer-songwriter acclaimed for her distinctive contralto voice and committed activism, Lennox does indeed set a high bar.
But worry not; this article will guide you through 13 incredible singers similar to Annie Lennox. These artists echo her musical style or trailblazing spirit. Let’s dive in and uncover these sonic gems!
1. Kate Bush
The acclaimed Queen of Alternative Pop, Kate Bush, became famous at 19. Her debut single, “Wuthering Heights,” topped the UK charts in 1978, announcing her arrival in the music world with a bang.
Over the decades that followed, Kate’s star continued to shine brightly. She released ten studio albums, each one a testament to her evolution as an artist. Albums like Hounds of Love and The Sensual World were hailed as masterpieces, expertly blending elements of art rock, pop, and progressive rock.
Beyond her style and lyrics, Kate is known for her innovative use of technology in music. Her pioneering use of the Fairlight CMI synthesizer in “Hounds of Love” and her exploration of traditional Irish music in “The Sensual World” attest to her boundary-pushing approach.
2. Alison Moyet
The English pop singer-songwriter Alison Moyet is known for her distinct bluesy voice. Born and raised in Essex, she began carving out her successful career in the 1980s as part of Yazoo, a duo she formed with musician Vince Clarke.
Following the disbandment of Yazoo, Moyet embarked on a solo career. Her debut album, Alf, released in 1984, was a major success, reaching #1 in the UK albums chart and producing several hit singles, including “All Cried Out” and “Love Resurrection.”
Throughout her career, Moyet has received numerous accolades for her contributions to music. She has been nominated for a Grammy and won a Brit Award for Best Female Artist. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Southend for her contribution to music.
Fans of jazz and soul will undoubtedly know the singer-songwriter Sade. The British artist’s music career began in the early 1980s when she formed the band Sade.
The band achieved immediate success with their debut album, Diamond Life, which was released in 1984. The album spawned several hit singles, including “Smooth Operator” and “Your Love Is King,” and it won the Brit Award for Best British Album in 1985.
Throughout her career, Sade has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades. She won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1986 and has since received three more Grammys.
In 2002, Sade was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music, and she was further promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours, also for services to music.
4. Florence Welch
The talented singer and lead vocalist of the popular band Florence + The Machine, Florence Welch, is known for her powerful vocals, and her musical style is often compared to Annie Lennox.
With the band, Welch released five studio albums, four of which reached #1 on the UK Albums chart. The latest of these chart-toppers is Dance Fever, which dropped in 2022.
Aside from her work with Florence + the Machine, Welch has also collaborated with other artists like Lady Gaga, Calvin Harris, and The xx. In 2018, she released a book titled Useless Magic, a collection of lyrics, artwork, and poetry.
Despite her fame, Welch has remained grounded and committed to her art. She is widely respected in the music industry for her authenticity and her dedication to her craft.
5. Tori Amos
The alt-rock/pop rock singer-songwriter Tori Amos is often compared to Annie Lennox due to their similar singing styles.
Her professional music career began in 1979 with her synth-pop band Y Kant Tori Read, which was not successful. However, Amos found her stride as a solo artist in the early 1990s with her debut solo album, Little Earthquakes, which was released in 1992.
Since then, Amos has released 15 more albums, each showcasing her unique musical style that blends elements of rock, pop, electronic, classical, and experimental music. Some of her notable albums include Under the Pink, Boys for Pele, From the Choirgirl Hotel, and Scarlet’s Walk.
6. Chrissie Hynde
With a voice as distinctive as the beat-up Fender Telecaster she often cradles, Chrissie Hynde strides into the annals of rock history with an unapologetic swagger.
She ventured to London, drawn to the city’s burgeoning punk scene in the 1970s. In this vibrant environment, Hynde fine-tuned her musical prowess, eventually forming The Pretenders in 1978.
Their eponymous debut album in 1980 was a sonic masterpiece featuring hits like “Brass in Pocket,” a track that oozes confidence and showcases Hynde’s sultry, smoky vocals.
Throughout her career, Hynde has been a beacon of resilience. Despite lineup changes and personal challenges, she has continued to produce music that resonates with audiences around the world.
7. Imogen Heap
Next up is the singer-songwriter and producer Imogen Heap. This British artist has made a name for herself in the alternative pop scene with her mesmerizing vocals and innovative approach to music production since 1995.
She first gained recognition in the late 1990s with her debut album, iMegaphone. However, it was her second album, Speak for Yourself (2005), that truly put her on the map. The album featured the hit track “Hide and Seek,” which showcased Heap’s use of a vocoder and a harmonizer, resulting in a hauntingly beautiful a cappella effect.
Imogen’s talent as a vocalist and her ability to push boundaries in the industry has been acknowledged with several awards, including (but not limited to) two Grammy Awards and an Ivor Novello award.
8. Shirley Manson
Another talented singer like Annie Lennox is Shirley Manson. This Scotland native is the lead singer of the American alternative rock band Garbage. Inspired by Lennox, Manson has created a unique presence on stage that captivates audiences worldwide.
Not only is Manson a phenomenal singer, but she also plays an important role in the production of Garbage’s music. She is married to the band’s sound engineer, Billy Bush, and collaborates with him as he helps produce their albums.
Together, they have worked on various projects and continue to create incredible music, like the 1990s hits “Only Happy When It Rains” and “Stupid Girl.”
9. PJ Harvey
From the picturesque county of Dorset, England, Polly Jean Harvey, better known as PJ Harvey, is a musical chameleon. With her ever-evolving sound and style, she has firmly established herself as one of the most influential figures in alternative rock.
One of the defining characteristics of Harvey’s career is her ability to reinvent herself with each album. From the gritty, grunge-infused rock of To Bring You My Love (1995) to the hauntingly beautiful piano-driven ballads of White Chalk (2007), her musical evolution is a testament to her creative fearlessness.
Beyond her music, Harvey is also an accomplished visual artist, further showcasing her wide-ranging artistic talents. She’s been recognized with numerous awards throughout her career, including two Mercury Prizes, making her the only artist to have received this prestigious award twice.
10. Cyndi Lauper
From the vibrant city of New York, we have Cyndi Lauper, an iconic figure in pop music. Known for her eclectic style and signature high-pitched voice, Lauper has been a trailblazer in the music industry since 1977.
Her debut solo album, She’s So Unusual, in 1983, was a massive success, featuring hit singles like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time.” The album became a cultural phenomenon, not just for its catchy pop tunes but also for its empowering themes of female independence and self-expression.
Lauper was not only an icon in music. With her neon-colored hair, quirky accessories, and eclectic outfits, she gained widespread recognition as a style icon in the 1980s.
New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde burst onto the music scene in 2013 with her debut single “Royals.” Climbing to #1 on several charts across the globe and winning two Grammys, the song quickly propelled her to fame.
Drawing inspiration from musical greats like Annie Lennox, Lorde’s unique sound—described as a blend of alternative pop featuring electronic and indie rock elements—resonates with fans worldwide.
After three chart-topping albums, Lorde continues to make waves in the music industry. Her success inspires aspiring artists everywhere and solidifies her place among the top singers of our time.
12. Sarah McLachlan
Next up, we head to the coastal city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Sarah McLachlan. Since 1987, she has become known for her ethereal voice.
Over the years, McLachlan has released several successful albums. Popular among the nine albums she released are Surfacing and Afterglow, both of which topped Canada’s charts and received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Album and Best Pop Vocal Album, respectively.
The Canadian artist is also well-known for her collaborations. One of her most notable was with the organization Lilith Fair, a music festival she co-founded that showcases female musicians. The festival not only provided a platform for women in music but also raised over $7 million for charities.
13. St. Vincent
Pop and indie rock singer-songwriter Annie Clark, best known as St. Vincent, has rocked the airwaves since 2003, first as part of The Polyphonic Spree and, later, as part of Sufjan Stevens’ touring band.
In 2006, Clark formed her own band and adopted the stage name St. Vincent, releasing her debut album, Marry Me, in 2007. However, it wasn’t until her second album, Actor (2009), that she gained significant recognition.
As her career progressed, St. Vincent continued to evolve and experiment with her sound. Her self-titled fourth album, in 2014, was a testament to her artistic growth. Not only was the album commercially successful, but it was also critically acclaimed and won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.
Summing Up Our List Of Singers Similar To Annie Lennox
As you have read, the distinctive sound and style of Annie Lennox have reverberated through the music industry, influencing and paralleling a diverse array of artists, like Kate Bush and St. Vincent.
Each of these 13 artists, in their own way, carries a piece of the Scottish singer’s legacy, continuing to inspire listeners with their compelling sounds and styles.
However, this list is far from complete. Who have we missed that should be here? Let us know so we can add them for you!