Sweet dreams come true for charity-minded pop singer

Chart star and charity campaigner Annie Lennox said she was "genuinely honoured" to receive an OBE.

The Eurythmics singer and solo star joked she is getting her hat ready for a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Lennox, 56, who founded her SING campaign to raise awareness of Aids in Africa, has been awarded her honour for many years of charity work.

The Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) singer said: "I'm genuinely honoured to be part of the New Year's Honours list for 2010.

"As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I've done something terribly right – or they've done something terribly wrong.

"In any case, whatever powers that be have deemed me worthy of such a recognition, I'm getting my fake leopard pillbox hat dusted and ready."

Aberdeen-born Lennox added: "I was never much of one to win prizes... and certainly never placed too much value on their acquisition. Therefore, I take this as more of an appreciation for the gentle turning of the years for someone who's enormously grateful for being able to breathe more or less freely in a totally insane world."

Lennox is known for her three decades of hits and recently returned to making music with a Christmas album which sold more than a million copies.

She showed early musical promise as a child and learned to play the piano from an early age. She even won a Butlins singing competition.

She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music as a flautist but felt out of her depth and dropped out of the course, making ends meet with shop and bar work.

Through friends, she was introduced to musician Dave Stewart, with whom she formed a band The Catch, later to become the Tourists.

They had a number four hit with Dusty Springfield's I Only Want To Be With You in 1979 but after only one more top 10 single So Good To Be Back Home Again, they split.

Lennox and Stewart – who at one stage also had a personal relationship – continued their musical partnership as a duo, Eurythmics.

Her look was as striking as the electronic pop they produced, favouring an androgynous, dyed-orange crop and manly, tailored suits.

It took them until their sixth single, Sweet Dreams, to make a sizeable impression on the charts in early 1983, but the hits continued until the end of the decade with tracks such as Who's That Girl and Thorn In My Side.

The group was put on ice in 1990 and two years later Lennox emerged as a solo act with hits such as Why and Walking On Broken Glass from her solo debut Diva.

Eurythmics briefly reformed in 1999 for the album Peace, but Lennox's devotion to charity work was to the fore with profits from the ensuing tour going to Amnesty International and Greenpeace.