Lulu on working with the late David Bowie: I felt like I’d been heard

The singer worked alongside David Bowie when she covered a number of his songs and they had a brief relationship together.

Lulu shot to fame as a teenager
Lulu shot to fame as a teenager (Peter Byrne/PA)

Lulu has said the late David Bowie made her feel heard within the music industry after she had “a lot of tears and a lot of struggles” with record label executives.

The Scottish singer, 75, shot to fame as a teenager and went on to release a host of albums and represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, where she was crowned joint winner.

She later worked alongside Bowie when she covered a number of his songs, including The Man Who Sold The World, and they had a brief relationship together.

Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show, she said: “I’ve had a great career, I’m very lucky.

“If you’re going to be in a career this long, there is a price to pay and there’s ups but there’s downs as well.

“One of the very first beginnings of that was when I was just a teenager and I would be negotiating with men in suits running record labels. They would want me to sing little pop songs, I would have a lot of tears and a lot of struggles.

“When I met David, David said ‘The labels don’t get you. They don’t get your voice either. I’m going to make a hit record with you’.

“When he said that to me, I felt like I’d been heard and I’d been seen because it’s hard to negotiate with people who’ve been in the business for a long time.”

Asked about her relationship with Bowie, which she made reference to in her 2002 autobiography I Don’t Want to Fight, she jokingly said: “No comment”.

The late David Bowie
The late David Bowie (Yui Mok/PA)

She added that the book was a “load of drivel” but that when it came out she did “the best I could” at the time about opening up on her life.

“I have learnt so much, I’ve been up and down. I’m older and I think I wasn’t ready to be as vulnerable and to be as authentic and honest, not that I was a phoney”, she continued.

“I was a young girl and I just want to be loved – that’s my story. That’s why I do what I do.

“I can say that now and I couldn’t have said that when I was younger. I want to be connected to people.”

After two marriages to musician Maurice Gibb and celebrity hairstylist John Frieda, the singer revealed she is not too worried about finding another partner as she is “really happy” on her own.

“When I was young, I wanted a white picket fence and I wanted the dream”, she said.

“To be honest with you, now after having two marriages and I picked two good guys, I needed to get to know myself a bit more.”

Born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie and also known as Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, the singer cracked the charts with a cover of Shout by The Isley Brothers in 1964, aged just 15.

In 1969 she represented Britain at Eurovision with her song Boom Bang-A-Bang and was the joint winner that year as she shared the prize with France, the Netherlands and Spain, with 18 points each.

She recently announced that her next tour, Champagne For Lulu, will be her last but that she still plans to work and hopes to bring out a new record.

The singer revealed that she is planning to scale things back after 60 years in showbiz but confirmed she is not retiring.

Reflecting on the tour, she feels it might be “quite emotional” for her but believes it will be “great” as she has a few treats in store for fans.