Please don’t ask me for the actual answer to anything, because I don’t have it. Because all I do is look at stuff and ask questions. What can I say? I just think the world’s barking mad. Look, I’m not an expert. I’m just an ordinary person.
Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.
Women’s issues have always been a part of my life. My goal is to bring the word ‘feminism’ back into the zeitgeist and reframe it.
We all fight over what the label ‘feminism’ means but for me it’s about empowerment. It’s not about being more powerful than men – it’s about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It’s about very basic things. It’s not a badge like a fashion item.
I think music is the most phenomenal platform for intellectual thought.
Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion.
It’s not fair to compare one artist to another because they all come with their own sort of elements to the picnic, you know.
Having children, they’re not your property. They need to figure out their own views. I think my daughters have a pretty healthy self-awareness, but I can’t speak on their behalf.
In a sense, the music business and I haven’t always been the best of bedfellows. Artists often have to fight their corner. Your music goes through these filters of record labels and media, and you’re hoping you’ll find someone who’ll help you get your work into the world.
Dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death.
I can’t understand why the front pages of newspapers can cover bird flu and swine flu and everybody is up in arms about that and we still haven’t really woken up to the fact that so many women in sub-Saharan Africa – 60 percent of people in – infected with HIV are women.
Most women are dissatisfied with their appearance – it’s the stuff that fuels the beauty and fashion industries.
I will go out of my way to avoid the shopping crowds and the extreme consumerism – I hate all that.
Life expectancy in many parts of Africa can be something around the age of thirty five to thirty eight. I mean you’re very fortunate if you live to that age. In fact when I went to Uganda for the first time one of the things that occurred to me was that I saw very few elderly people.
I used to be obsessed about how I presented myself. I didn’t want other people dressing me because I didn’t want to be treated like a clothes horse.
I am fascinated by history and particularly the Victorian era.
I’m not really keen on comebacks. Eurythmics was an incredible thing. When I look back on that work, I feel very satisfied with it.
Motherhood was the great equaliser for me; I started to identify with everybody… as a mother, you have that impulse to wish that no child should ever be hurt, or abused, or go hungry, or not have opportunities in life.
The future hasn’t happened yet and the past is gone. So I think the only moment we have is right here and now, and I try to make the best of those moments, the moments that I’m in.
Our ancestors are totally essential to our every waking moment, although most of us don’t even have the faintest idea about their lives, their trials, their hardships or challenges.
When you go to Africa, and you see children, they’re usually barefoot, dirty and in rags, and they’d love to go to school.
For me, pointing and clicking my phone is absolutely fine. People say that isn’t the art of photography but I don’t agree.
I was perceiving myself as good as a man or equal to a man and as powerful and I wanted to look ambiguous because I thought that was a very interesting statement to make through the media. And it certainly did cause quite a few ripples and interest and shock waves.
There are two kinds of artists left: those who endorse Pepsi and those who simply won’t.
I have different hats; I’m a mother, I’m a woman, I’m a human being, I’m an artist and hopefully I’m an advocate. All of those plates are things I spin all the time.
Fame for fame’s sake is toxic – some people want that, with no boundaries. It’s unhealthy.
You just decide what your values are in life and what you are going to do, and then you feel like you count, and that makes life worth living. It makes my life meaningful.
I have a reputation for being cold and aloof, but I’m so not that woman. I’m passionate. I love my girls, being with my girlfriends, getting involved with issues that affect other women and children who are suffering.
Whatever you do, you do out of a passion.
The general population still thinks HIV is something that came in the 80s and went away, or that it only affects the gay population or intravenous drug users.
I love to be individual, to step beyond gender.
The word feminism needs to be taken back. It needs to be reclaimed in a way that is inclusive of men.
I’m not a saint. I’m not an angel. I’m a human being.
I’ve never been a social person. When I grew up, the other girls would all be combing their hair and exchanging lipstick, and I just couldn’t do that group thing.
You know, I would say that songwriting is something about the expression of the heart, the intellect and the soul.
I think my daughters have a pretty healthy self-awareness but I can’t speak on their behalf.
Charity is a fine thing if it’s meeting a gap where needs must be met and there are no other resources. But in the long term we need to support people into helping themselves.
I don’t think feminism is about the exclusion of men but their inclusion… we must face and address those issues, especially to include younger men and boys.
I also started writing songs because I had this burning activity in my heart and had to express myself.
Nelson Mandela is awe inspiring – a person who really sacrificed for what he believed in. I feel truly humbled by him.
Fear paralyses you – fear of flying, fear of the future, fear of leaving a rubbish marriage, fear of public speaking, or whatever it is.
I have always felt a little homeless. It’s a strange thing.
Why are we not valuing the word ‘feminism’ when there is so much work to be done in terms of empowerment and emancipation of women everywhere?
If we value what we’ve inherited for free – from other women – surely it’s right morally and ethically for us to wake up and say, ‘I’m a feminist. ‘
I think Scotland could take a stand in a wonderful way, ecologically and morally and ethically.
The world is a heartbreaking place, without any question.
One wouldn’t want to have the same dilemmas at 50 as one had at 15. And indeed I don’t. I have a very different take on life.
I’m a female but I have a masculine side and I’m not going to negate that part of myself.
As a creative person, you just put something out into the consciousness of the society you live in.
The inner world is very potent for me – I don’t ascribe to any God or Jesus or Buddha – I just have a sense of it and revere it along with the natural world and human consciousness.
Motherhood was the great equaliser for me; I started to identify with everybody.
Men need to understand, and women too, what feminism is really about.
The dynamic between two individuals starts off with everything warm and nice and fabulous and good. Working and living together can serve you quite well, but when it starts to go wrong – oh, boy!
I have a calling in my soul, if you like, to try to make my life in some way worthwhile. What is the value of my existence?
Life is not quantifiable in terms of age, but I suppose in my fifties I am more grounded and more at ease in my own skin than when I was younger. I have a confidence that I didn’t have before from the experiences I’ve had.
I was brought up in a tenement house in a working district. We didn’t even have a bathroom! We had a gaslight in the hallway and a black-and-white TV.
I enjoy multi-tasking, so I want to do a lot of different things. I want to keep all the plates spinning.
You wouldn’t find a Joni Mitchell on ‘X Factor;’ that’s not the place. ‘X Factor’ is a specific thing for people that want to go through that process – it’s a factory, you know, and it’s owned and stitched-up by puppet masters.
If you want to open a supermarket chain and put your face all around the globe, selling your baby and your dog, if it makes you happy, who am I to disagree, as the song goes. But it’s not for me. I’ve always tried to keep my integrity and keep my autonomy.
I mean, I’m 48 years old and I’ve been through a lot in my life – you know, loss, whether it be death, illness, separation. I mean, the failed expectations… We all have dreams.
I would say that although my music may be or may have been part of the cultural background fabric of the gay community, I consider myself an outsider who belongs everywhere and nowhere… Being a human being is what truly counts. That’s where you’ll find me.
Music is an extraordinary vehicle for expressing emotion – very powerful emotions. That’s what draws millions of people towards it. And, um, I found myself always going for these darker places and – people identify with that.
Over the years, I was never really driven to become a solo artist, but I was curious to find out who I was as an individual creative person. It’s taken some time, but now I feel I’ve truly paid my dues. I guess I’m at a point now where I’m more comfortable in my own skin.
When you’re that successful, things have a momentum, and at a certain point you can’t really tell whether you have created the momentum or it’s creating you.
Those in the developing world have so few rights – we take a lot for granted in the developed world.
I see myself as a traveller.
I’m just an ordinary person.
I don’t have clear-cut positions. I get baffled by things. I have viewpoints. Sometimes they change.
I didn’t want to be perceived as a girly girl on stage.
I only want to make music because I have a passion for it.
Feminism is a word that I identify with. The term has become synonymous with vitriolic man-hating but it needs to come back to a place where both men and women can embrace it. It is particularly important for women in developing countries.
I’ve never experienced chronic poverty, but I know what it’s like to live on £3 a week.
I’ve never been a social person.
I’ve always tried to keep my integrity and keep my autonomy.
Making a Christmas album is looked upon by some people as the thing you do when you are heading towards retirement.
I understand what it is for a woman to want to protect their children and give them the best they can.
As a mother, you have that impulse to wish that no child should ever be hurt, or abused, or go hungry, or not have opportunities in life.
I’m appalled the word feminism has been denigrated to a place of almost ridicule and I very passionately believe the word needs to be revalued and reintroduced with power and understanding that this is a global picture.
I have a lot to be grateful for.
If people like your music, you can’t guarantee they’re going to love you.
I think life on the road really suits very egotistical men. It’s set up for kings.
Actually, I’m quite a domesticated person. I love the little things of home.
I was born in 1954. My parents were brought up in the war years, and life was hard.
The person who inspired me the most was a friend of mine, Anita Roddick. I know that Anita wasn’t known to be an ardent feminist, but she truly was.
You have to face things, have faith in what you do and go for it. Think, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’
I’m not a Christian, but I think the Christian message is a good one.
I watch ‘Mad Men,’ I knit scarves, I cook and am very, very normal. Honestly.
If someone says something unpleasant, I can’t say it doesn’t smart a bit. It always does. Someone can take a really nasty swipe if they want because it kind of feels powerful for a person to write in a paper and get that thing out there.
I don’t feel there are enough women artists out there who are saying anything of tremendous relevance.
I sang a lot as a little girl and entered competitions. I loved singing in choirs, but it was as I got older that I really found my voice.
If I hadn’t been a singer, I might have been a photographer or an artist. But it’s singing I love. I sing all the time, and I feel really good that I’ve expressed myself.
I am a communicator; that seems to be my natural place. And I’ll always be passionate about the world, because it’s so bonkers.
I don’t take myself as seriously as some people think, and I’d hate anyone to think I was preaching. That’s the last thing I want.
Music is a great vehicle for communications, and I have a certain platform. I have an opportunity and I have to take it.
I don’t have any interest to go to Israel. I don’t think I’d ever have a cause to go.
I’d rather support the issues I truly believe in than give my vote to parties that court votes at the time of the election. I like to think that my vote strengthens the green foundation stone.
A lot of music you might listen to is pretty vapid, it doesn’t always deal with our deeper issues. These are the things I’m interested in now, particularly at my age.
I want to branch out. I want to write. I write poetry. I want to see my children grow up well.
It’s a very telling thing when you have children. You have to be there for them, you’ve got to set an example, when you’re not sure what your example is, and anyway the world is changing so fast you don’t know what is appropriate anymore.
Although I have lived in London, I have never really considered London my home because it was always going to be a stopping-off point for me, and it has been too.
I was never much of a one to win prizes… and certainly never placed too much value on their acquisition.
HIV/AIDS has no boundaries.
I want people to start thinking about what it means to be HIV-positive and to ask questions about that.
People ask me so many questions.
I’ve had my share of dark days of the soul. I try not to focus on it too much so it doesn’t get to me.
I would love to meet a dodo.
I’m not particularly attention-seeking.
I love to make music and stay grounded.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve mellowed. I’m less mellow, perhaps.
Money is a good thing and it’s obviously useful, but to work only for money or fame would never interest me.
Women’s issues have always been a part of my life.
I think people in Great Britain are a bit jaded sometimes.
When I look at the majority of my own songs they really came from my own sense of personal confusion or need to express some pain or beauty – they were coming from a universal and personal place.
I’m from a working-class background, and I’ve experienced that worry of not having a job next week because the unions are going on strike.
I don’t want to be owned by a corporation and obliged to make a certain type of album. I want to be free.
I want people to understand me as a person with views, not just performing songs.
I would like to see the gay population get on board with feminism. It’s a beautiful organisation and they’ve done so much. It seems to me a no-brainer.
Churches, depending on their policy, can do fantastic work with people in the community.
It’s hard to tell how far women’s individuality has come in the past twenty years.
There is a big difference between what I do onstage and what I do in my private life. I don’t put my living room on magazine pages.
I’m not intensely private – I talk a great deal about my life and my work – I just don’t play the game to excess.
I have always been a very visual person and a keen observer.
I like where I live here, in London.
I’ve thought about what is an alternative word to feminism. There isn’t one. It’s a perfectly good word. And it can’t be changed.
I’m from a working-class background, and I’ve experienced that worry of not having a job next week because the unions are going on strike. I know that because I don’t come from a wealthy background.
My issue with the state of women became incredibly stimulated when I was visiting developing countries and it became obvious that women bore the brunt of so many things in society.
Anita Roddick was amazing. Her presence in a room was full of light, and everything she worked to achieve still resonates now.
Pop stars are so busy having a career that they don’t really have a lot of time for activism.
There’s a lot of women’s organisations, but they’re all working separately. If you get people together, as a collaborative voice, it’s strong.
Every artist has to make their own statements and they have to live with them.
I haven’t lived my life through my daughters. Some parents devote everything to their children, which must be so hard, and it’s very beautiful. But I’m a working parent, so I’ve always kept my own life.
When you get to be nearly 60, you do take stock. You don’t know what’s around the corner.