Annie Lennox received the Barclays Woman of the Year award for her charity work in a ceremony in London this week.

The Barclays Women of the Year Award salutes an exceptional and selfless woman who has used her vision to help change the lives of many.

‘A lot of music you might listen to is pretty vapid, it doesn’t always deal with our deeper issues,’ says Annie Lennox, singer, songwriter and philanthropist. ‘These are the things I’m interested in now, particularly at my age.’

Those deeper issues for her revolve round peace, poverty, motherhood and, in particular, the devastation wrought by HIV/AIDS in Africa. For the past 20 years, she has devoted much of her time to charity, working with Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Nelson Mandela's 46664 Foundation, and in 2008 she was awarded the British Red Cross' Services to Humanity Award.

“OK..so today was a pretty amazing one for me…let me elaborate…” she blogged after the event. "First of all to say, that “awards” per se are not the motivating factor in any of what I do…. But then again, I have to say that it is enormously humbling and deeply moving to receive any kind of recognition from anyone. To receive the Women of the Year award was absolutely… well… beyond words, actually.

“Let me state very clearly… I AM A FEMINIST… I AM A HUMANIST… and I WANT TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO GET ENGAGED AND INVOLVED WITH THE CHALLENGING ISSUES OF THE WORLD… WE ARE ALL PART OF IT, HERE AND NOW, AND EVERYONE COUNTS. IF YOU ARE READING THIS, YOU ALREADY BELONG TO THE MINORITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTERTHERE IS SO MUCH THAT YOU CAN DO TO CONTRIBUTE… IT IS NOT POINTLESS.. IT ACTUALLY STARTS WITH "YOU""

In 2008, Annie released a special fund-raising single called Sing, the proceeds from which went to the Treatment Action Campaign, an organisation that provides much-needed support in the struggle against HIV/AIDs in Africa. She is also a leading fund-raiser for Mothers to Mothers, a South African charity which trains mothers who have HIV/AIDs to work as a core part of the medical teams dealing with newly-diagnosed women, sharing their experience to help them through the emotional and practical rollercoaster of living with the disease.

She is working with Oxfam to create the Circle – a group of influential women who come together to look at ways they can make a real impact on poverty around the world.

Find out more about the Woman of the Year award here.

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