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Soul singer who inspired Jagger to visit film festival

THE American soul singer who inspired famous songs by both the Rolling Stones and David Bowie is to visit Glasgow for the first time to talk about her life as a leading backing vocalist.

Claudia Lennear was, it is believed, the inspiration for the Stones' Brown Sugar and Bowie's Lady Grinning Soul.

Ms Lennear, also a solo artist, is to visit Glasgow this weekend for its annual film festival to attend the screening of 20 Feet From Stardom, a documentary about classic backing singers.

Ms Lennear, now based in California, was also the backing singer for Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, and George Harrison.

20 Feet from Stardom, by director Morgan Neville, charts the careers and experiences of backing singers such as Ms Lennear, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Táta Vega.

After being out of the music business for many years and working as a teacher, Ms Lennear is planning a return to singing and recording. She said: "It will be fantastic to be in Glasgow, where I have not been before, although I once performed in Edinburgh many years ago.The film is looking at something that has never really been done before, but better late than never.

"It really was the golden age of rock and roll, and I think that probably we are on the other side of that golden age now. For the film to tell our stories: it really has been a joy."

Jagger and Ms Lennear met when The Stones toured with Turner in 1969.

Commenting on Brown Sugar, Ms Lennear said: "As far as I know it is true, and if it is not true then it is a myth that has followed me a long time.

"I have never asked [Jagger or Bowie] if the songs were about me. Deep down in my heart I know they are."

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