In her heyday in the 1980s, pop singer Samantha Fox would easily have won the poll for Female Celebrity Least Likely to Come Out as a Lesbian. Fox’s career has seemed like a homage to heterosexuality, or at least an indulgence of male fantasies. She has long cultivated her image as a sexed-up yet accessible blonde girl-next-door who oozes sex appeal, but knows how to toe the Madonna/whore line without crossing over.
She was doing this a dozen years before Britney, and without finding it necessary to broadcast either her virginity or her affection for Jesus.
So Fox — whose seventh album, Angel With an Attitude, has just been released in the U.S. — shocked many a fan in 2003 when she acknowledged that she and her manager, Myra Stratton, had been sharing a home for reasons unrelated to business or finances.
Since then, Fox has begun talking more openly about her sexuality, now occasionally even using the "L" word in reference to herself.
Born in London’s East End in 1966, Fox became an overnight sensation after appearing topless in the infamous Page Three section of Britain’s Sun tabloid. She was just 16 years old. She had already nabbed second place in a (fully clothed) beauty contest — the Face Shape of ’83 competition — when photographers noticed she had other assets that the camera would love.
Standing just five-foot-one, Fox wasn’t exactly built for the runway. But the photogenic teenager, who reportedly boasted a 36DD-23-36 figure (and that’s without surgical alteration), quickly set off on a successful adventure as a professional model. Soon she was adorning pinup after pinup.
She joins Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, according to her official website, as “Britain’s most photographed women.”
After four years of vamping for the camera, Fox completed her contractual obligations and took her act to the stage and studio. She wasn’t the only model to rustle up a successful singing career in the late ’80s — Whitney Houston was another who did so at roughly the same time. But, more like Vanessa Williams, Fox was already hugely famous (and famously disrobed) by the time she launched her musical career.
In any event, making music was more of a homecoming than a foray for Samantha. She had already been traipsing across stages since she was a small child, attending a theater school at age five and appearing in a BBC-televised play when she was ten. She had already signed a record deal by age 15, but then was whisked off into the world of modeling before she had the chance to launch her musical career.
Fox has arguably always been more notable for her figure than for her musical talent. But while her music may not share the serious merit of, say, Dolly Parton’s, in the ’80s, Fox’s records were selling like crazy. And while Britain’s Channel Four now lists her debut album, Touch Me (1986), as one of the “100 Worst Pop Records” of all time, the title song is still a club classic. It reached the top five in the U.S. and was one of her many Top Ten hits in both the U.K. and the U.S.
Touch Me is also one of four Samantha Fox albums that clinched number one spots in 15 countries.
Fox’s fame has spread worldwide and she has toured throughout Europe as well as in Australia, Israel, South America, and Asia. In India she playing to crowds of about 70,000 in three cities, breaking a record held by Bruce Springsteen. She describes herself as the “first Western female to appear in a Bollywood movie” and was even presented with an award by Mother Theresa. She was banned from singing at a 1996 charity concert in Calcutta, because local police feared she might cause a riot.
Legions of fans have been entranced by Samantha’s songs, including such hits as "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)" and "I Wanna Have Some Fun." Other provocatively titled songs from her musical catalog include "Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)", "I Surrender (To the Spirit of the Night)", and "Hurt Me Hurt Me (But the Pants Stay On)." Not all of her song titles include parenthetical phrases; there is also "Pleasure Zone", "Deeper" and "All Day and All Night." But these, too, typify Samantha Fox’s piquant style.