She’s adored by millions of fans around the world, but growing up in Scotland in the 1950s, Annie Lennox wasn’t shown much affection by her parents. “In my background, nobody hugged or kissed,” the Grammy-winning singer recently told Good Housekeeping. “It was viewed as too soft, as times were hard and the culture contained a great deal of stoic reserve.” So when she had children of her own — daughters Lola, 28, and Tali, 25 — she knew she’d raise them differently.

“I’ve tried to make up for what I didn’t have in my own childhood,” Annie, 64, explained. “I think hugging is very important, along with telling people — especially your children — that you love them.”

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She sets a good example for her daughters in other ways, too, by embracing her age and saying no to plastic surgery. “I’m 64 and I’ve got wrinkles, so what?” she said. “I’ve earned a few lines. The pressure on women to look good is so strong, but at this stage in life, I appreciate health. It is the greatest gift of all.”

Annie recently made headlines earlier this year when she revealed she’s been suffering from “excruciating nerve pain.” In a candid Instagram post, she wrote, “We are but human … Things happen to our bodies as we traverse through life. Over a decade ago I had to have a back operation and a lot of things changed after that. Long story … but I occasionally suffer from excruciating nerve pain, which comes in with vengeance when I least expect it.”

Annie continued, “It hit over New Year and I’m hoping it will settle down as I go into the 3rd day … It has given me an insight as to what others have to deal with … far more or less than this. My gratitude when it dies down is immeasurable. Fingers and toes crossed this too shall pass.” We’re thinking of you, Annie!

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