Lena Zavaroni

(1963—1999) popular singer and entertainer

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b. 4 November 1963, Rothesay, Scotland, d. 1 October 1999, Cardiff, Wales. This winsome singer travelled down from the Isle of Bute in Scotland during late 1973 to sing her way to victory over a season of ITV’s Opportunity Knocks talent showcase. She was signed to manager Dorothy Solomon, partner of 60s’ impresario Phil Solomon. Zavaroni gained a recording contract and reached the UK Top 10 almost immediately with a revival of Johnny Otis ’ ‘Ma, He’s Making Eyes At Me’ - which was tied in with a bestselling album. In 1974 too, her version of Lloyd Price’s ‘Personality’ was a lesser hit. These chart strikes were a firm foundation for the exploitation of young Zavaroni as an all-round entertainer via a world tour, extensive television guest appearances, headlining at the London Palladium, a Royal Command Performance and her own BBC 1 series. However, her career had faded to virtual semi-retirement by the 80s, blighted as it was by anorexia nervosa, and the popular media’s intrusive focus on the unhappy Zavaroni’s incomplete success in regaining her health. She died in October 1999 from complications arising from surgery for her eating disorder.


From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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