Amanda Lear

Amanda Lear (née Tap or Tapp[1]) is a French singer, lyricist, painter, television presenter, actress and former model.

Amanda Lear
Amanda Lear in France, 2011
Background information
BornBetween 1939 and 1950
Saigon or Hong Kong
  • Singer
  • lyricist
  • painter
  • television personality
  • actress
  • model
Years active1975–present
Associated actsSalvador Dalí

Lear studied art in Paris and at Saint Martin's School of Art in London. She began her professional career as a fashion model in the mid-1960s and went on to model for Paco Rabanne and Ossie Clark, among others. She met the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and would remain his closest friend and muse for the next 15 years. Lear first came into the public eye as the cover model for Roxy Music's album For Your Pleasure in 1973. From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, she was a million-album-selling disco queen, mainly in Continental Europe and Scandinavia, signed to Ariola Records. Lear's first four albums earned her mainstream popularity, charting in the top 10 of European charts, including the best-selling Sweet Revenge (1978). Her biggest hits included "Blood and Honey", "Tomorrow", "Queen of Chinatown", "Follow Me", "Enigma (Give a Bit of Mmh to Me)", "The Sphinx" and "Fashion Pack".

By the mid-1980s, Lear had positioned herself as one of the leading media personalities in Italy where she hosted many popular TV shows. Although television took priority over musical activity,[2] she continued to record, experimenting with different genres and trying to revive her career by re-recording and re-mixing earlier hits to various levels of success. Lear has also developed a successful career in painting,[3] which she has long described as her biggest passion,[4] and regularly exhibited her works in galleries across Europe and beyond since the early 1980s.[5][6] She has also written a number of autobiographies, including My Life with Dalí.

Since the 1990s, her time has been divided between music, television, movies and painting. Despite regular album releases, she failed to achieve major success in charts with her music. However, her television career has remained stellar and she has hosted numerous prime time TV shows, mostly in Italy and France, occasionally making guest appearances in TV series. She has also performed acting and dubbing roles in independent as well as major film productions. In the late 2000s, Lear would reinvent herself as a theatrical actress, performing in long-running stage plays in France. To date, she allegedly has sold over 27 million records worldwide.[7] Lear is also a widely recognized gay icon.[8][9]

Early life

Lear's origins are unclear, with the singer herself providing different information about her background and keeping her birth year a secret even from the long-term husband.[10] Contested facts include her birth date and place, the gender she was assigned at birth, names and nationalities of her parents, and the location of her upbringing. Most sources claim 18 November 1939 to be her birth date, including GEMA, but her birth year has variously been given as 1941,[11] 1946,[12] 1948 and 1950. During a 2010 interview with French newspaper Libération, Lear presented her identity card to the journalist, and it read: "born 18 November 1950 in Saigon".[13] This date, however, appears to be a fabrication, as public records show that she began university in September 1964, and that she married in December 1965.

As for her birthplace, Saigon and British Hong Kong appear to be most credible versions,[10] but places like Singapore, Switzerland and even Transylvania have also been rumoured as the singer's birthplace. She was reportedly the only child to her parents who later divorced.[14] Most sources, including Lear's 1965 wedding certificate from the Chelsea registry office,[15] confirm that her father was a French army officer (possibly of British origin). Her mother appears to have had a Russian-Asian background.[16] In a 1976 interview with Carmen Thomas for a German television show, Lear confirmed that her father was British and mother was Russian, and that they had both already died.[17] However, she would later claim that her mother had a French background.[10]

Lear's alleged transgender background has been commented upon in the media and in the biographies of those who knew Lear earlier in her life, including Salvador Dalí,[18][19] with Dali's biographer Ian Gibson even devoting an entire chapter to her.[15] April Ashley, a famous transgender entertainer and model, has long claimed that in the 1950s and early 1960s, she and Lear, whose birth name she stated was Alain Tap, were working together in Parisian transvestite revues Madame Arthur and Le Carrousel. In her book, April Ashley's Odyssey, she recalls Lear performing drag acts under the stage name Peki d'Oslo.[20] Similar facts have been reported by Romy Haag, a transgender artist living in Germany, who ran a popular nightclub "Chez Romy" in Berlin and knew Amanda closely,[21] and Bibiana Fernández, a Spanish transgender actress and singer.[22] Some sources even insinuate that it was Dalí himself who sponsored Lear's sex reassignment surgery in Casablanca in 1963, carried out by doctor Georges Burou,[23] and also that it was he who invented her stage name based on the pun of the Catalan language "L'Amant de Dalí" (Dalí's lover). Rumours claiming that Lear was a drag queen or even intersex were circulating at the beginning of her modelling and also singing career,[24][25] and subsided only after she posed nude for Playboy in the late 1970s.

Despite Lear herself contradicting transgender rumours on numerous occasions and explaining they were part of a strategy to draw public attention,[26] they have persisted to date. She denied them at the beginning of her singing career in 1976, stating that it was "a crazy idea from some journalist"[17] and later claimed in the Interview magazine that it was David Bowie who started the rumour. Amanda Lear also claimed that it was Salvador Dalí, or even herself who started the rumour.[27][28] She would address the allegations in an ironic and provocative way in her songs "Fabulous (Lover, Love Me)" and "I'm a Mistery" (deliberately misspelled as to reference the word "mister"). Despite some sources claiming her transgender background is an open secret, she would always flatly deny it, even when confronted by Ian Gibson during a TV show.[29]

However, French,[30][24] British[31][32][33] and Italian[34][35] newspapers and magazines in the 1960s and 1970s and more recently in 2008,[36] with an excerpt surfaced online in 2011[37] and in 2016 in an article in La Stampa,[38] included passport details and a reproduction of a copy of Lear's birth certificate, which states that she was born Alain Maurice Louis René Tap on 18 June 1939 in Saigon, and a picture of Lear before her supposed transition.

Lear allegedly grew up in the South of France and in Switzerland.[39] Raised speaking French and English, she learned German, Spanish and Italian in her teens, and would use multilingualism in her professional life. She relocated to Paris at the end of elementary school to study at Académie des Beaux-Arts, then went to Saint Martin's School of Art in London in 1964.[40]


1965–1974: Modelling and the Swinging London period

In Paris, Amanda Lear was introduced to the eccentric Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. The self-proclaimed enfant terrible in the world of art, before at the time some 40 years her senior, was struck by Lear's looks and found a soul mate in her. She has since described their close and unconventional relationship as a "spiritual marriage" and remained Dalí's confidante, protégée and the closest friend through the next sixteen years.[42]

After showing up at Lucie Daouphars' model school (known as Lucky), she is sent by Gérald Nanty to Karl Lagerfeld's then model maker at Jean Patou's.[43] Amanda Lear is runway model for Lagerfeld and meets Catherine Harlé, the head of a modelling agency, who offered her a contract. Lear returned to Paris for her first modelling assignment as a means to finance her art studies, walking for rising star Paco Rabanne. Just as Harlé had predicted, Lear's looks were very much in demand. Soon after her debut Lear was photographed by Helmut Newton, Charles Paul Wilp and Antoine Giacomoni for magazines such as Elle, Beau,[44] Le Nouveau Candide,[45] Cinémonde,[46] Scandal,[47] Nova,[48] The Daily Telegraph, Stern,[49] Bravo and Vogue. She modelled for fashion designers including Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel in Paris and Mary Quant, Ossie Clark and Antony Price in London. After some time, Lear dropped out of art school to model full-time and went on to lead a bohemian and flamboyant life in the Swinging London of the Sixties. Lear's acquaintances at this time included The Beatles and fellow top models Twiggy, Pattie Boyd and Anita Pallenberg. She became a "stalwart of London's demimonde",[11] an exotic name on the nightclub circuit and a regular fixture in the gossip columns. On 11 December 1965, she married Morgan Paul Lear, a Scottish architecture student, and adopted his name.[50][51]

Lear would spend every summer with Dalí at his home at Port Lligat in Catalonia and accompany him and his wife on trips to Barcelona, Madrid, Paris and New York. She also took part in his art projects, posing for a number of Dalí's drawings and paintings, including The Dream of Hypnos, Angélique Rescued from the Dragon and Venus in Furs.[52] Lear appeared in several advertisements for major brands, modelling among others for a Chantelle underwear range and the Detchema fragrance by a French company Révillon Frères in 1967,[53] and in 1968 played a minor role in a French comedy film Ne jouez pas avec les Martiens.

In 1971, Lear modelled for a special Christmas issue of the French edition of Vogue, edited entirely by Salvador Dalí, and was photographed by David Bailey.[54] She performed in a short-lived play along with the singer P.J. Proby in an Islington pub in London and 1972 saw her first on-stage appearance when she introduced Roxy Music and Lloyd Watson at the Rainbow Theatre in London in August.[55] Lear has been briefly engaged to Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music[56] and in 1973 was famously depicted posing in a skintight leather dress leading a black panther on a leash on the cover of the band's classic rock album For Your Pleasure,[57] an image that has been described as "as famous as the album itself".[58] Following the exposure to the music world she gained from the album cover, Lear went on to have a year-long affair with the married David Bowie[59] and appeared in the live performance of his hit song "Sorrow" in The 1980 Floor Show, broadcast as part of The Midnight Special TV series.[60] Lear then contributed to the Dalí Museum, opened in the painter's home town Figueres in September 1974, by producing a series of collages decorating the doors of the museum, and was offered writing a monthly gossip column by a British magazine Tatler.[61]

1974–1983: The disco period with Ariola Records

In 1974, disillusioned by a shallow and conservative fashion industry and encouraged by her boyfriend Bowie,[62] who paid for singing and dancing lessons, Lear decided to launch a career in music. Bowie recommended a Hungarian voice coach Florence Wiese-Norberg, with whom he also worked,[63] and the pair subsequently recorded a demo track called "Star", which remains unreleased to date.[64] Lear's debut single, "Trouble", a pop-rock cover of Elvis Presley's 1958 classic, was released unsuccessfully by minor label Creole Records in the United Kingdom. A French-language version of the track, "La Bagarre", was released on Polydor in France and while equally unsuccessful there, it became a minor disco hit in West Germany in early 1976. The track caught the attention of the singer, composer and producer Anthony Monn and label Ariola, which offered her a seven-year, six-album recording contract for a sum of money that Lear since has described as "astronomic".[58] Her debut album, I Am a Photograph, released in 1977, was recorded in Munich with most songs composed by Monn who would go on to produce majority of her material in the disco era. The album included Lear's first European hit, "Blood and Honey", as well as the follow-up Italian no. 1 single "Tomorrow", and covers of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and Leroy Anderson's "Blue Tango". I Am a Photograph's mixture of lush disco, schlager, kitsch and camp, topped with Lear's deep half-spoken, half-sung vocals and her characteristic Franglais accent was a successful combination. The second edition of I Am a Photograph, which also contained German no. 2 hit "Queen of Chinatown", included a free pin-up poster with Lear posing topless, a photo originally featured in a Playboy spread.

In 1978, Lear continued her line of disco hits with Sweet Revenge, an album that opens with a concept medley about a Faustian fairy tale of a girl who sells her soul to the devil for fame and fortune, and in her eventual revenge over the devil's offer finds true love. The first single from Sweet Revenge, "Follow Me", powered by Lear's characteristic deep and recitative voice and the theme of the devil, was an instant smash hit. It reached the top 3 in the West German singles chart as well as top 10 in many European countries,[65] and has been Lear's signature tune ever since. The Sweet Revenge album was certified gold in West Germany[66] and France,[67] and went on to sell in excess of four million copies, spawning further European hit singles "Gold" and "Enigma (Give a Bit of Mmh to Me)". Lear took part in three Italian productions in 1978: a war-time parody Zio Adolfo in arte Führer, a softporn documentary Follie di notte directed by Joe D'Amato, and a six-episode controversial TV show Stryx. Later in 1978, Lear and Monn teamed up for Never Trust a Pretty Face. The album featured a variety of genre exercises like the dance version of a war-time classic "Lili Marleen", the interpersonal ballad "The Sphinx", the cabaret-esque "Miroir", futuristic tracks "Black Holes" and "Intellectually", as well as the hit disco single "Fashion Pack (Studio 54)". In 1979, Amanda had her first art exhibition in Paris[42] and on 13 March married bisexual French aristocrat Alain-Philippe Malagnac d'Argens de Villèle in Las Vegas, the former lover and then adopted son of a diplomat and controversial gay novelist Roger Peyrefitte.[68] This marriage is not official for the French state. The couple had first met late in 1978 at a fashionable Parisian discothèque Le Palace, a French equivalent of Studio 54. Dalí and his wife Gala both strongly disapproved of this relationship and even attempted to persuade Lear to have the marriage annulled. As a consequence of this, and also the time taken up by Lear's successful career in music and television, she and her mentor began drifting apart. They still sporadically kept in touch via letters and telephone through the early and mid-1980s, especially after Gala's death in 1982. Lear visited Dalí one last time at Púbol, Spain a few years before the painter himself died.

In late 1979, Lear recorded Diamonds for Breakfast, which was her commercial breakthrough on the Scandinavian market (top 10 in both Sweden and Norway[69]), producing hits "Fabulous (Lover, Love Me)" and "Diamonds", plus regional single releases "Japan", "When" and the autoerotic "Ho fatto l'amore con me". The album abandoned the Munich disco sound with its lush strings and brass arrangements in favour of an electronic new wave rock style. Lear spent most of 1980 on European promotional tours for the album and its many accompanying single releases, from Greece to Finland. She also made her first visit to Japan, where both the single "Queen of Chinatown" and the Sweet Revenge album had charted. Two non-album singles followed the Diamonds for Breakfast album in late 1980: a pop cover of Eric "Monty" Morris's early ska hit "Solomon Gundie" and the chanson-esque "Le Chat de gouttière", the latter with both music and lyrics written by Lear and recorded for francophone markets.

The Lear/Monn album success saga neared its end in 1981, when Lear had become increasingly uncomfortable with the expectations and pressures of the music business in general and her own record label in particular. At the artistic and commercial peak of her international career, but with the so-called "anti-disco backlash" beginning to take its toll, she had tentatively started recording tracks for a forthcoming album with producer Trevor Horn in London. However, Ariola did not approve of the material[70] and informed Lear that she was to return to Munich and provide the company and the market with another Monn product. The result of these sessions was Incognito, only partly co-written by Lear, with new wave material fueled with rock and electronic elements. Incognito generated only one minor hit, the French language ballad "Égal", and still met with relative success in Scandinavia. It was also her breakthrough album in South America, with three tracks recorded in Spanish: "Igual", "Dama de Berlin" and "Ninfomanía". Another non-album single followed in early 1982, a synthpop take on the pop classic "Fever". This would be Lear's final collaboration with producer Anthony Monn. Shortly thereafter she took legal action against the Ariola label on the grounds of artistic differences to be released from her recording contract. The lawsuit was unsuccessful and she remained with Ariola until the end of 1983, as stipulated in the original contract. In 1982, another Italian language single, the ballad "Incredibilmente donna", was released on the greatest hits compilation Ieri, oggi.

The double A-side single "Love Your Body"/"Darkness and Light", released in the spring of 1983, was produced by Monn's sound engineer Peter Lüdemann rather than Monn himself. These were Lear's final Munich recordings for Ariola and her final promotional appearance on West Germany's most important music TV show at the time, Musikladen, in June 1983. Lear's international career momentum was slowing and effectively came to an end in December 1983 with her sixth and final Ariola album under contractual obligation. Tam-Tam, a collaboration with Italian composers and producers, was a modern and minimalist early 1980s synthpop album with a soundscape dominated by Roland TR-808 drum machines and sequencer-programmed synthesizers. Lear again wrote all the English lyrics for the album. Although she performed some of the songs from the album on the popular Italian TV show Premiatissima, she did not promote Tam-Tam in West Germany or any other parts of Europe and neither did the record company. As a consequence, Tam-Tam passed by unnoticed by the international record-buying public.

1983–1999: Television career and comeback attempts

Lear went on to launch a very successful and lucrative career as a TV presenter in Italy, thanks to the future prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, soon becoming something of a household name in that country. She hosted many successful TV shows there, including Premiatissima and W le donne (the latter adapted in France as Cherchez la femme), in which she frequently promoted her music. The singer recorded a string of dance singles for various European labels: "Assassino" and "Ritmo Salsa" in 1984, followed by "No Credit Card" and "Women" in 1985. A minialbum entitled A L, with four covers of classic songs, including Marilyn Monroe's "Bye Bye Baby" and "As Time Goes By" from the film Casablanca, was recorded for Five Records and released in 1985. Her music career, however, had waned by that point and she failed to find chart success with her recordings at that time. In late 1985, Lear appeared in a series of TV spots for Fiat advertising their Christmas promotion. She had also written her first book, the autobiography My Life with Dalí, which told about her long relationship with the famous painter. Originally published in French, the book was translated into other languages in the second half of the 80s.

After several years as a TV entertainer in Italy on Canale 5 and France on La Cinq, Lear returned to music. Her next album, Secret Passion, a post-disco Hi-NRG affair produced by Christian De Walden, was recorded in Los Angeles and Rome for major French label Carrere Records. The album was to be her comeback in Continental Europe, Scandinavia, the Eastern Bloc, South America and Japan, as well as a breakthrough attempt in anglophone countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada and Australasia. These were the only major markets that Lear had not conquered during the Ariola years. The launch was planned for January 1987, however, just before promotion began, Lear was seriously injured in a near-fatal car accident and took months to recover, unable to promote the record properly.[71] Secret Passion's commercial success was less than hoped for, and the lead single "Wild Thing" was ultimately only released in a few countries such as France, Italy and Greece. While in hospital, Lear began writing a novel, L'Immortelle, a surrealistic tale of the torments of a woman doomed to eternal youth and beauty.[72] Watching everyone else grow older and eventually losing all her loved ones, the woman is still as beautiful but unable to stop the merciless passage of time.[73]

A series of re-recordings of her old hits appeared on the market in the late 1980s, starting with a synthpop take of the biggest hit, "Follow Me", in 1987. The following year, Italian band CCCP Fedeli alla linea recorded a cover of her song "Tomorrow", newly called "Tomorrow (Voulez-vous un rendez-vous)", for which Lear contributed guest vocals. The single was a minor hit in Italy and Amanda's first chart success in that country in six years. In 1989, DJ Ian Levine remixed "Follow Me" and "Gold" in a Hi-NRG fashion, while Lear hosted Ars Amanda on Rai 3, an Italian chat show where she interviewed both Italian and international celebrities and politicians in bed.[58][74] From the late 1980s, Lear has been a regular participant in the popular French radio show Les Grosses Têtes on RTL, televised on Paris Première. To maintain her popularity in Italy, she recorded Uomini più uomini, an all-Italian language album, which included mainstream pop material written among others by Toto Cutugno and Paolo Conte.[72] No single was released to promote the album and it turned out a commercial failure. The same year Amanda re-recorded some of the songs in French and cut a new dance single, "Métamorphose", for the French-Italian re-release of the album, called Tant qu'il y aura des hommes. In 1990, she released a new up-tempo promotional-only single, "Do You Remember Me?", and took part in Thierry Mugler's fashion show.

Lear continued to record more dancefloor-friendly repertoire in the 1990s, starting with the 1992 song "Fantasy", which became a hit in clubs around Europe, especially gay. Cadavrexquis, her next album, was released in 1993 and featured heavily club-oriented material, including "Fantasy" and re-recordings of three songs from the disco era. Both the single and the album failed to enter any mainstream charts. Meanwhile, Lear hosted the TV show Méfiez-vous des blondes on TF1[75] and appeared in Arnaud Sélignac's TV drama Une Femme pour moi in France. In 1994, she modeled for the fashion house Grès in Paris and again for Thierry Mugler in Berlin the following year. In May 1995, Lear debuted her new, erotic late night TV show Peep! in Germany, also known as Beware of the Blondes,[76] which she would host for one year. The show, which used her new song "Peep!" as the opening music theme, became remarkably popular in Germany, achieving over 50% of market share.[58] In June 1995, she performed at a 1970s disco music tribute concert La fièvre du disco in Paris alongside Boney M. and Gloria Gaynor, among others. In autumn, the singer released Alter Ego, an upbeat eurodance offering. The album again was not successful and did not produce any elusive international comeback hit, with singles "Everytime You Touch Me", "Peep!" and "Angel Love" failing to enter music charts. As an active supporter of people suffering from HIV/AIDS, in 1996 Lear made an appearance as a model for Paco Rabanne during an annual charity event Life Ball.[77] During her November 1996 concert at Le Palace in Paris, the singer announced her definitive departure from touring and performing live, and although she would still sporadically give concerts in the following years, her live acts have limited mostly to short TV appearances ever since.[78]

Lear released Back in Your Arms in spring 1998, an album consisting of re-recordings of her own 1970s disco hits and remixed versions of tracks from the 1995 album Alter Ego. The album failed to make much impact on the market, but the re-recordings have since been featured on many mid-price compilations in Europe. Back in Your Arms was soon re-released with a slightly different track list and title, and a new remix of "Blood and Honey" was released as the single. Her next acting and television ventures were the French movie Bimboland, in which she starred alongside Gérard Depardieu, and an Italian makeover TV show Il brutto anatroccolo. The theme tune to the latter was "Nuda", a cover version of Melina Mercouri's 1960 recording "Never on Sunday", which Lear recorded but never released commercially. On the set of Il brutto anatroccolo Lear met male model and actor Manuel Casella, some thirty years her junior. Lear and Casella began a long-term relationship and were featured prominently in the tabloid press in both France and Italy, before splitting in 2008.[79]

2000–present: Recent career

Lear contributed vocals for a cover of Giorgio Moroder's 1970s hit "From Here to Eternity", recorded in 2000 with Eric D. Clark. In the morning of 16 December 2000, a fire broke out in Lear's house in Saint-Étienne-du-Grès, killing her husband, Alain-Philippe, and his friend, Didier Dieufis.[80] At the time of the accident, Lear was in Milan where she was hosting a TV show. The fire left the house in ruins, destroying personal memorabilia and a number of Dalí's paintings.[81][82] As a result of the accident, she fell into depression,[83] but soon threw herself back into work and put on an art exhibition entitled Not a. Lear.[84] At the end of 2001, she returned with an album of new material, Heart, dedicated to the late husband. The album offered a cover of "Love Boat", the title song from the 1970s TV series of the same name, and the club-friendly track "I Just Wanna Dance Again", both issued as singles featuring remixes by some prominent names in the world of French dance music, such as Laurent Wolf and Junior Vasquez. Containing new dance-oriented tracks as well as ballads and a number of cover versions, Heart was greeted as a long overdue return to form.

In 2002, Lear starred in Le Défi,[85] a musical movie written and directed by choreographer Blanca Li about an eighteen-year-old dropout who dreams of becoming a star in breakdancing and the ensuing conflicts with his conservative mother. Lear played the mother's understanding and encouraging best friend and a fashion victim, which gave her an opportunity to demonstrate her comedic talent. She also cut the title song for her new Italian TV show Cocktail d'amore in which she interviewed some of Italy's most famous 1980s music stars, and released the single "Beats of Love" with the Belgian boy band Get Ready!, which became a minor chart success. Both tracks were included in the 2003 re-release of Heart, newly titled Tendance. Next year, Lear dubbed the voice of Edna Mode in French and Italian versions of the Disney/Pixar's blockbuster The Incredibles, and her 1978 song "Enigma" enjoyed success in Central and Eastern Europe after exposure in the Kinder Bueno TV advert. In 2005, the singer became a judge on Ballando con le stelle, the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars, and released two new dance singles, "Paris by Night" and the remake of Barry Manilow's "Copacabana", as well as two compilations, Forever Glam! and Sings Evergreens. In 2006, Lear opened another art exhibition in New York, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Amanda Lear,[86] and was decorated with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres in recognition of her contributions to French arts and sciences.[1] A new compilation was released, the 3 CD The Sphinx – Das Beste aus den Jahren 1976–1983, fully covering the singer's Ariola output. In October, the album With Love was released in France, and consisted of evergreens and jazz standards of Amanda's favourite divas, such as Eartha Kitt, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone. It won critical acclaim in France and was released in the rest of Europe in early 2007. Lear made several appearances in movies, including acting in Oliviero Rising and dubbing for the French version of Dragon Hunters. In 2008, she hosted several TV shows in Italy and France.[87][88]

In 2009, Amanda reinvented herself as a stage actress, accepting the part of Cécile in the comedy Panique au ministère, which debuted at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris. The show turned out a huge success and was taken on tour.[89] Her next album, Brief Encounters, was released in autumn 2009, preceded by the single "Someone Else's Eyes", a duet with Italian singer-producer Deadstar. The album consisted of two discs, with down-tempo songs and ballads on the first one, and a set of dance tracks and remixes on the other. The following month, Lear released autobiography Je ne suis pas celle que vous croyez... and an EP of purely dance-oriented material, Brand New Love Affair. The title song was released as the lead single, accompanied with an animated music video. The Brief Encounters album was partly re-recorded and remixed, and subsequently released in Acoustique and Reloaded versions. Boy George remixed "Someone Else's Eyes" in 2010. In April 2011, Lear released the single "Chinese Walk", and joined the judging panel of the Italian TV show Ciak... si canta! on Rai 1. In September, Lear returned to theatre for the lead role in Lady Oscar, an adaptation of Claude Magnier's 1958 play Oscar, at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris. The play was another success[90] and was taken on tour.[91]

Her next studio album, I Don't Like Disco, was released in January 2012, promoted by the video for the new single, "La Bête et la Belle", which sparked controversy due to its erotic imagery.[92] In September 2012, Lear appeared as a catwalk model on Jean Paul Gaultier's fashion show in Paris[93][94] and in 2013 started playing the leading part in the new play Divina at the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris. In spring 2014, she released My Happiness, a tribute album with covers of Elvis Presley's songs, promoted by the single and video "Suspicious Minds". In 2015, she recorded the duet "Mai più" with Italian singer Gianluca De Rubertis for his album L'universo elegante. The pair then teamed up for the ballad "Prima del tuo cuore" for Lear's next album, Let Me Entertain You, released in May 2016. A combination of dance tracks and ballads, the album was a minor chart hit in Italy and spawned two dance singles "The Best Is Yet to Come" and "Catwalk". Her new play, La Candidate, which was a sequel to Panique au ministère, opened in 2016 at the Théâtre de la Michodière[95] and was subsequently taken on tour across France. On 16 October 2016, interviewed in the Italian program Domenica in, Amanda Lear announced her retirement immediately after completing the La Candidate tour in spring 2017,[96][97] however, she had to cancel a number of final dates due to health issues.[98] In 2018, she worked on the dubbing for French and Italian versions of Incredibles 2, and released another book, Délires.[99]


Studio albums and main compilations


Theatre plays
  • 2009–2010: Panique au ministère as Cécile Bouquigny
  • 2011–2012: Lady Oscar as Clara Barnier
  • 2013–2014: Divina as Claire Bartoli
  • 2016–2017: La Candidate as Cécile Bouquigny


  • 1984 : Lear, Amanda (1984). Le Dalí d'Amanda (in French). Lausanne: Éditions Favre. ISBN 2-8289-0175-0. OCLC 461749441. (autobiography)
  • 1987 : Lear, A (1987). L'Immortelle (in French). Paris: Claude Carrère. ISBN 2868043631. OCLC 461837831. (novel)
  • 1994 : Lear, A (1994). L'Amant Dalí : ma vie avec Salvador Dalí (in French). Paris: Éditions Michel Lafon. ISBN 2840980118. OCLC 807550048. (reprint of Le Dalí d'Amanda, with a foreword by Paco Rabanne)
  • 2004 : Lear, A (2004). Mon Dalí (in French). Neuilly-sur-Seine: Éditions Michel Lafon. ISBN 2749901111. OCLC 56012321. (reprint of Le Dalí d'Amanda)
  • 2006 : Lear, A; Galerie Claudius (2006). Between dream and reality. Norderstedt: Books on Demand. ISBN 9783833451850. OCLC 180929230. (collected arts)
  • 2009 : Lear, A (2009). Je ne suis pas du tout celle que vous croyez… (in French). Paris: Hors collection. ISBN 9782258081321. OCLC 468417957. (autobiography)
  • 2018 : Lear, A; Dieudonné, Frédéric (2018). Délires (in French). Paris: Le Cherche midi. ISBN 9782749150437. OCLC 1078361743. (collection of meditations and anecdotes)


  1. "Nominations dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres de juillet 2006". Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (in French). Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  2. Monica Romanò (2002). "Le trasformazioni di Amanda" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2 April 2003. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  3. Carsten Weidemann (15 February 2007). "Amanda Lear zeigt ihre Malerei" (in German). Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. Pantella, Marco (22 October 2014). "An Interview with Amanda Lear". The Ground. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  5. "Eventi Mostre. Sogni Miti Colori 07/06/2008-30/06/2008 Pietrasanta (LU), Toscana". Eventi e (in Italian). Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  6. "A Londra le esclusive opere di Amanda Lear in mostra con artisti talentuosi". Spoleto (in Italian). 10 May 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
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  21. Haag, Romy (1999). Eine Frau und mehr (in German). Berlin: Quadriga. ISBN 3-88679-328-1.
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  29. Metzger, Richard (11 April 2009). "Amanda Lear: Hot Tranny Mess". Dangerous Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  30. "Le Parisien" (fiche n° 1068482). Musée de la presse : les archives de la presse, 22 May 1967. « Drogue : Peki d'Oslo, mannequin français, 27 ans, arrêtée à Londres pour trafic ; elle et son réseau ravitaillaient les Rolling Stones. »
  31. Peki d’Oslo, whose real name is Amanda Tapp - French passport (30 June 1965 - Daily Mirror); Peki d’Oslo - real name Amanda Lear (13 June 1967 - Daily Mirror)
  32. Glenton, George (30 June 1965). "Peki felt naked without a mink". Daily Mirror. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 16 October 2019.« Miss D'Oslo, whose real name is Amanda Tapp, said afterwards that Davies had given her a £400 cheque to pay for the stolen property »
  33. "Stripper Peki pleads guilty in drugs case". Daily Mirror. 13 June 1967. p. 5. Retrieved 16 October 2019.« Strip dancer and model Peki d'Oslo—real name Amanda Lear—pleaded guilty »
  34. Il "detto Amanda", voce travestita (in Italian). 29. Il Borghese. 1978. p. 514. « Amanda Lear è una vecchia conoscenza di quanti bazzicavano l'ambiente dell' avanspettacolo. Si chiamava allora Peki d'Oslo (all'anima della fantasia!) e praticava lo «spogliarello travestito». Peki d'Oslo era indicata (o indicato) sul passaporto e sulle note della polizia di Carcassonne come «Tap Alain, nato a Saigon il 18 giugno del 1939, detto 'Amanda', cittadino francese». È cosi. »
  35. G. M. (8 October 1961). Amanda-show dopo mezzanotte. Confidenze (in Italian). 41. Milan: Lo Specchio (periodico). p. 29. Alain Louis René Maurice Tap, in arte Amanda: « Amanda » (cambiando bruscamente voce ed atteggiamento): « Io sono, caro signore, tanto perché lei non si faccia idee sbagliate, monsieur Alain Louis René Maurice Tap. Dei Tap, naturalmente. E sono nato a Saigon, ex-Indochine française, 22 anni or sono. Mi considerano, attualmente, uno dei migliori professionisti mondiali del travestimento ; il vero nome di Amanda è Alain Louis René Maurice Tap, nato ventidue anni prima a Saigon, e "se pure il suo passaporto è intestato a 'monsieur Tap' un documento altrettanto valido e controfirmato dal console di Francia a Berlino autorizza 'monsieur Tap' a farsi chiamare 'mademoiselle Amanda' in base ad un certificato rilasciato l'anno scorso all'artista da un medico francese , che dichiara il signor Tap fisiologicamente e fisicamente donna". Ma Alain Tap è ancho il vero nomme di "Peki", uno dei travesti che affiancano Coccinelle nella sua esibizione napoletana (Lo Specchio, Fall 1961)
  36. GiovanBattista Brambilla, « Il caso Amanda », Pride (magazine), no. 110, August 2008, pp. 48-49
  37. "Essere o non essere?". Armonics 2 (in Italian). 17 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  38. Nel 1978, la giornalista Camilla Cederna scrive un articolo per TV Sorrisi e Canzoni in cui dice di aver sbirciato il passaporto francese della cantante depositato al bureau del suo albergo a Milano. Il documento risulterebbe rilasciato a Carcassonne, Sud della Francia, intestato a «Alain Tap, detto Amanda, travestito, nato a Saigon il 18 giugno 1939». Più in basso il nome d’arte: “Peki d’Oslo”. (Simone Vazzana , « La Stampa », I 70 anni (ma anche no) di Amanda Lear, storia di un mistero, 18 November 2016)
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