Claudia Lennear

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Claudia Lennear (also rendered as Linnear and Lenier when she appeared on Stephen Stills’s albums)[1] is an American soul singer.

Musical career[edit]

Claudia Lennear was fronting a soul group called the Superbs when she was approached by Ike Turner to audition for a position as an Ikette.[2] "He was a terrific business person, very disciplined, and he was a visionary," she said.[3] Lennear was with Ike & Tina Turner for three years until she had a spat with Tina Turner.[2]

Lennear has worked with many acts including Humble Pie and Joe Cocker. She was part of a trio of backup singers for Delaney and Bonnie, that also included Rita Coolidge.

Lennear's meetings with Mick Jagger and David Bowie are often cited as inspiration for The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" (1971) and Bowie's "Lady Grinning Soul" (1973).[4][5][6] NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray noted in 1981 that she was "yet to reply in song to either Mick or David".[4] However, in a 1973 article in Rolling Stone, she was quoted as saying that she wrote the song "Not At All" "to inform Mick Jagger of his dispensability".[7]

Claudia Lennear was one of Leon Russell's Shelter People. She sang back-up vocals on Joe Cocker's 1970 Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour and live album, on Leon Russell and the Shelter People, released in 1971 and on George Harrison's The Concert for Bangla Desh. Her lead vocal live recording of "Let It Be" from the Mad Dogs and Englishmen movie was the B side of Leon Russell's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" single on A&M Records in 1971.

In 1973, Lennear recorded a solo album of her own (her one and only) entitled Phew![8]

Lennear had a bit part in the 1974 film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, playing the secretary who asks Clint Eastwood's character for his Social Security number. She appeared in the August 1974 issue of Playboy magazine in a pictorial entitled "Brown Sugar".

She left the music industry to become a teacher[9] of French and Spanish.

Lennear appears in the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.[10]

At the Lockn' Festival in Arrington, Virginia. on September 11, 2015, Lennear performed with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Rita Coolidge, Leon Russell and other alumni from the 1970 Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour in a memorial concert for Cocker.[11][12]

Since 2014, Lennear has performed and recorded in Los Angeles with The New Ash Grove Players with S S Jones & Claudia Lennear. They have performed at the Grammy Museum, The World Stage, The Improv, and at the Pete Seeger Memorial for the Ash Grove Foundation.[13]


As a solo artist[edit]

Year Album Label
1973 Phew! Real Gone Music
Claudia Lennear WEA Japan

With others artists[edit]

Year Album Artist Credits
2016 Lost Studio Sessions 1964-1982 Gene Clark Featured Artist
2014 Face the Music Nils Lofgren Vocals
2014 The Best of the Superbs The Superbs Photo Courtesy
2011 Easy Does It/New York City (You're a Woman)/
A Possible Projection of the Future: Childhood's End
Al Kooper Vocals (Background)
2010 Rarities Edition: Mad Dogs & Englishmen Joe Cocker Choir/Chorus, Primary Artist
2007 Less Than the Song/Life Machine Hoyt Axton Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)
2006 Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Fillmore 3/28/1970 Joe Cocker Vocals, Primary Artist
2006 The Complete Fillmore East Concerts Joe Cocker Vocals, Primary Artist
2006 The Definitive Collection Humble Pie Additional Personnel, Vocals (Background)
2006 The Definitive Collection Dave Mason Vocals (Background)
2006 What It is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves: 1967-1977 Primary Artist
2005 Mad Dogs & Englishmen [2005 DVD] Joe Cocker Performer
2005 The Essential Taj Mahal Taj Mahal Main Personnel, Vocals (Background)
2001 Rare + Well Done: The Greatest & Most Obscure Recordings Al Kooper Vocals
2001 Right On! Box Set Primary Artist
2001 Right On, Vol. 3: Break Beats & Grooves from the Atlantic & Warner Vaults Primary Artist
2001 Sing a Happy Song: The Warner Bros. Recordings Taj Mahal Vocals (Background)
2001 Ultimate Collection Freddie King Vocals (Background)
2000 The Best of Freddie King: The Shelter Records Years Freddie King Vocals (Background)
1999 Ultimate Collection Dave Mason Vocals (Background)
1999 Ultimate Collection Nils Lofgren Vocals (Background)
1997 Retrospective Leon Russell Vocals
1997 Soft Fun, Tough Tears Nils Lofgren Vocals (Background)
1991 Key to the Highway [Del Rack] Freddie King Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1985 Takin' Care of Business Freddie King Choir/Chorus
1977 Brothers Taj Mahal Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1976 Cry Tough Nils Lofgren Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1976 Glass Heart Allan Rich Sound Effects
1976 The Best of Leon Russell [DCC/Shelter] Leon Russell Vocals
1975 Stills Stephen Stills Vocals
1974 Compartments José Feliciano Vocals (Background)
1974 Mo' Roots Taj Mahal Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1974 No Other Gene Clark Main Personnel, Vocals, Vocals (Background), Voices
1973 Chris Jagger Chris Jagger Vocals
1972 A Possible Projection of the Future Al Kooper Vocals
1972 Artist Proof Chris Darrow Vocals (Background)
1972 Bring Me Back Tony Kelly Vocals
1971 Getting Ready... Freddie King Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1971 Into the Purple Valley Ry Cooder Vocals
1971 Klatu Berrada Nitku Dependables Vocals, Bass, Group Member
1971 Leon Russell and the Shelter People Leon Russell Vocals
1971 Living by the Days Don Nix Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1971 New York City (You're a Woman) Al Kooper Vocals, Vocals (Background)
1971 Rock On Humble Pie Vocals
1970 Alone Together Dave Mason Vocals
1970 Mad Dogs & Englishmen Joe Cocker Main Personnel, Vocals, Vocals (Background), Choir/Chorus, Featured Artist, Primary Artist
1970 Stephen Stills Stephen Stills Vocals
All the Funk & Groove Primary Artist
My Perfect List 60 Titres Soul 1 Primary Artist
Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels: The Blissed-Out Birth of Country Rock, Vol. 6: 1973 Vocals (Background)
U.F.O. Ron Davies Vocals (Background)



Year Film Role
1974 Thunderbolt and Lightfoot Secretary
2013 20 Feet from Stardom Herself


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b Mcleod, Pauline (March 30, 2014). "My favourite photograph by Mick Jagger's ex girlfriend, singer Claudia Lennear". Express.
  3. ^ "Soul singer to discuss star-crossed life during interview". Claremont Courier. July 24, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p. 56
  5. ^ "The Ziggy Stardust Companion - Encyclopedia L". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  6. ^ "The lyrics were partially inspired by a black backing singer we knew in L.A. called Claudia Linnear" - Bill Wyman quoted from Rolling With The Stones (2002) at Time Is On Our Side.
  7. ^ Fong-Torres, Ben, "Keeping Great Company: An Interview with Claudia Lennear", Rolling Stone, 12 April 1973.
  8. ^ "Claudia Lennear - Phew!" at Allmusic.
  9. ^ Tigerino, Adolfo, "Former professional singer rocks LAC",, June 4, 2013.
  10. ^ Wikane, Christian John, "Keeping Great Company: An Interview with Claudia Lennear", PopMatters, 20 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Inside Tedeschi Trucks Band's All-Star Joe Cocker Tribute". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  12. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ Retrieved 25 January 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Claudia Lennear - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2018.

External links[edit]