Lulu interview: Pop legend reflects on career and "emotional" memories of Bowie and Maurice Gibb

9 September 2019, 16:44 | Updated: 16 January 2024, 11:37

Lulu is one of the most successful singers of her generation, and she's back!

She may have turned 70 last year, but she shows no signs of slowing down.

Lulu’s upcoming tour, titled On Fire, will allow fans to see a unique perspective as the concert will delve into Lulu’s song and video archives.

Speaking ahead of her tour, Lulu dropped by the Gold studio to chat to James Bassam about what fans can expect, including what particular stories make her feel emotional.

"What we’ve done is, we’ve compiled a lot of pictures, a lot of bits of videos, and looked at the songs chronologically – ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, and then the 2000s.

"I’ve got stories I never could tell. I never could speak when I was very young. I always admired Americans because they had a way of being very natural and talking on stage.

"So now I’m older. I have so much experience. I’ve worked with so many legends that have inspired me. I can tell stories about that on stage."

Lulu and James Bassam
Lulu and James Bassam. Picture: Gold/Global

When James asked if she forgot about certain moments from her career when going through old photos and footage, she said: "Yeah. 'Who is that? I know that’s David Bowie. I know that’s Mick Jagger. Who is that person on the left there?'. I said, 'It could have been Paul… what’s his name? The arranger?'.

"Yeah, I don’t remember everything. But your memory is jogged by a photograph – and sometimes, you get stuck. You know, like, looking at pictures of me and Maurice Gibb. You know, I was married to Maurice. And how lucky! Just to talk about the ‘60s – I could go on forever.

"With Maurice, I get a little bit emotional. With David Bowie, I get a little bit sad.

"Of course, with John Lennon, because he’s not been around for longer, there’s not so much sadness. But the heart aches a little bit.

"But then I want to turn it to the parts where it’s like: 'Jesus, I can’t believe I was with them! I did that, and I did that, and I did that!' Yeah, that’s going to be… That’s what’s going to be different about this tour for me."

Lulu also shared an amazing story of how Oprah Winfrey welcomed her on stage to sing a tribute for actor Sidney Poitier.

She explained: "I was in a movie that made one of the most important cultural statements in a film – and I’m talking about To Sir with Love. It’s one of the classic films of all time

"I didn’t think about that when I was doing it. I only really thought about it when I was at Sidney Poitier’s birthday party, and Oprah Winfrey was talking about him. She was going to introduce me.

LuLu (To Sir With Love)

"And I listened to her talk about what an impact Sidney made in her life, and how she watched a black man get out of a big limousine. A white man opened the door. He walks out with a tuxedo and a white bowtie. He walks into the Academy Awards and wins the Academy Award.

"She said, 'I was sitting in a shack, holding the aerial, if he can do that, if Sidney can walk on and get an Oscar as a black man – what can I do?'.

"She said, 'Well, you know, I didn’t know what to get for your birthday, Sidney. But then I knew what I can give him for his birthday. Here she is. I’ve flown her in from London. It’s Lulu.' I could hardly sing, you know?"

Watch Gold's full interview with Lulu above. Tickets for Lulu's tour can be found here.

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