Annie Lennox is set to receive the Freedom of the City of London at a ceremony taking place at the City of London’s Guildhall on Tuesday 1 December.
The singer was nominated by the British Red Cross International Fundraising Committee, in recognition of her fundraising and humanitarian work.
The presentation will take place in the Basinghall Suite at Guildhall and followed by a star-studded gala dinner and musical ‘Tribute to Annie Lennox’, in the Livery Hall. La Roux, Little Boots and the Music for Life African Children’s Choir will be among the performers. Stephen Fry will be the host for evening and Brian Eno will give a speech.
“The British Red Cross is delighted that on 1 December, World Aids Day, Annie Lennox is being recognised with the Freedom of the City of London,” said Maria Shammas MBE, Chairman of the British Red Cross International Fundraising Committee. “We greatly value her support and her commitment to humanitarian work, which over the years has been remarkable.”
The Freedom of the City of London is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies in existence today; the first Freedom is thought to have been presented in 1237. Previous famous recipients include The Queen, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Luciano Pavarotti, Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill.
“I first came to London 1971, as a virtually penniless music student , existing on £3 a week,” said Lennox. "I’ve lived all over the place and travelled to almost every corner of the globe. For years my suitcase has been half packed, either to leave or because I’ve just arrived home. And the curious thing about the city is that no matter how many years I’ve spent coming and going, I still feel as if there’s so much more to discover.
“As a humanitarian I have long been an admirer of the amazing work of the British Red Cross to tackle HIV across the world and am amazed and honoured to have been acknowledged in this way.”
The gala dinner will take place in the Livery Hall, Guildhall. Guests will arrive from 700pm for a reception, before performances and dinner to start at 7:30pm.