|Birth name||Samantha Karen Fox|
|Also known as||Sam Fox|
|Born||15 April 1966|
Mile End, London, England
Linda Birgitte Olsen
|Partner(s)||Myra Stratton (2003–2015)|
Samantha Karen Fox (born 15 April 1966) is an English pop singer and former glamour model from Mile End in the East End of London. She rose to fame as a Page 3 model in The Sun tabloid newspaper, where she appeared regularly from 1983 until 1986, becoming one of the most photographed British women of the 1980s and a prominent sex symbol of the era.
Fox left Page 3 in 1986 to focus on her singing career. Released in March of that year, her debut single for the Jive Records label, "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)", became a top-10 hit across Europe, North America, and Australia, reaching number one in several countries. She released her debut studio album Touch Me in July 1986, and followed it with the studio albums Samantha Fox in 1987 and I Wanna Have Some Fun in 1988, each of which produced international hit singles. At the Brit Awards 1988, she was nominated in the British Female Solo Artist category. Her subsequent studio albums Just One Night (1991), 21st Century Fox (1997), and Angel with an Attitude (2005) were less commercially successful, but she has continued to tour and has announced a forthcoming seventh studio album, produced by Ian Masterson.
Fox has appeared in a number of films and reality television shows, and has occasionally worked as a television presenter. Following rumours about her sexual orientation, she came out as a lesbian in 2003.
Fox was born on 15 April 1966 as the eldest child of John Patrick Fox, a builder, and Carole Ann Wilken, an actress and former dancer on Ready, Steady, Go!, a 1960s pop music programme. She grew up in Mile End in the East End of London, describing her background as "a working-class market-trader family". She had one full sibling, a younger sister Vanessa, who died in March 2023, aged 50.
Fox took an interest in the theatre from an early age, attending the Anna Scher Theatre School from age five, and subsequently attending Mountview Theatre School. She also attended St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green. She formed her first pop band when she was 14 and signed her first record deal with Lamborghini Records at age 15.
Fox's glamour modelling career began at age 16 when her mother took photographs of her wearing lingerie and submitted them to The Sunday People's "Face and Shape of '83" amateur modelling contest. After Fox placed second in the contest, a photographer for The Sun invited her to pose topless for Page 3. British publications could then legally feature topless models aged 16 and older, although the minimum age was raised to 18 in 2003. Fox later said she was grateful for the opportunity to break into glamour modelling, since many people in her area were unemployed or had "rough, low-paying jobs”. She had previously considered joining the police force, but at 155 cm (5 feet 1 inch) tall, did not meet the height requirement then in place of 163 cm (5 feet 4 inches) for female officers. Having become comfortable with sunbathing topless on European beaches, she later said that she did not consider nudity a "big deal".
Fox's first Page 3 photograph appeared in The Sun on 22 February 1983, under the headline "Sam, 16, Quits A-Levels for Ooh-Levels". She signed a four-year modelling contract with The Sun, and was named "Page 3 Girl of the Year" for three consecutive years from 1984–86. She also made modelling appearances in multiple men's magazines. During her glamour modelling career, she insured her breasts for £1 million, inspired by Betty Grable insuring her legs for $1 million. In 1985, she appeared in a David Cassidy music video and modelled for an accompanying photoshoot; she later claimed that Cassidy sexually assaulted her during the shoot and again afterwards in the toilets of a restaurant.
Fox left Page 3 in 1986, aged 20, to focus on her singing career. She made occasional glamour modelling appearances later in her career, including a nude photoshoot for the October 1996 issue of Playboy magazine when she was aged 30. She is recognised today as the most popular pin-up girl of her era, as well as one of the most photographed British women of the 1980s, alongside Diana, Princess of Wales, and Margaret Thatcher.
Fox attempted to launch a music career in 1983. Her first single, credited to S.F.X., was a cover version of the 1981 Lesley Jayne song "Rocking with My Radio", released on the Lamborghini Records label. It was produced by Ian Gillan Band and Spencer Davis Group member Ray Fenwick, who also wrote the B-side, "My Old Man". Fox continued her collaboration with Fenwick, releasing her second single, "Aim to Win", under her own name in 1984. Neither of these singles was successful. Fox later said that "[Lamborghini Records] didn't really have a clue in those days and I didn't either," but said that performing live gave her useful experience for her later musical career. Songs from her early Lamborghini Records singles were included as bonus tracks on the 2012 deluxe reissue of her album Touch Me.
Two years later, Fox was invited to an open audition for Jive Records, which was seeking a "British Madonna" to record the single "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)". It offered Fox a five-album deal. Released in March 1986, the single became an instant hit, reaching the top 10 across Europe and topping the charts in multiple countries. In the UK, the song reached number 3 in the charts, and in the US it reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her second single, "Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)", also reached the top 10 in the UK. Her debut album, Touch Me, peaked at number 17 in the UK and charted all over Europe, reaching number one in Finland. Fox hit back at critics who gave the album mixed reviews, claiming that critics routinely disapproved of attractive artists; she called female reviewers "plain, drab women without any sex appeal" and said that many male music critics "look like Elvis Costello".
Her second album, Samantha Fox, released in 1987, featured the hit singles "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" (UK #8) and "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)" (US #3). The former song was produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman, while the latter was remixed by US production duo Full Force. At the Brit Awards 1988, she was nominated in the British Female Solo Artist category alongside Kate Bush, Alison Moyet, Sinitta, and Kim Wilde. The award went to Moyet. Her third album, I Wanna Have Some Fun, released later in 1988, featured the hits "I Only Wanna Be With You" (UK #16) and "I Wanna Have Some Fun" (US #8). The album also charted in both the UK and US. By the end of the decade, Fox had achieved three top-10 singles in both the UK and US and three gold albums in the latter. She continued to have notable success in Australia and Europe.
Fox's father managed her career until 1991, when she hired accountants to trace over £1 million that she believed he had embezzled from her accounts. Her father had moved her money into offshore bank accounts, and had not paid tax on Fox's earnings for 10 years. She sued and was awarded a £363,000 court settlement in 1995. However, the funds from the court settlement were used to settle her tax bill.
Fox's record sales declined sharply after the 1980s. She released three further studio albums, Just One Night in 1991, 21st Century Fox in 1997, and Angel with an Attitude in 2005, but none produced any hits. A Greatest Hits album was issued in 2009, both in single and double CD formats. In 2012, her first four albums were remastered and reissued as double deluxe CDs by Cherry Red, with the addition of remixes and previously unreleased tracks. In 2022, Fox announced that she was working on a seventh studio album, produced by Ian Masterson, that would include a song she co-wrote with the late Steve Strange as well as songs co-written with Ricky Wilde, brother of Kim Wilde.
In addition to her solo career, Fox collaborated with Cris Bonacci (former lead guitarist for the all-female rock band Girlschool) and Lauraine McIntosh to form the short-lived band Sox and enter A Song for Europe, the UK's pre-selection competition for the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest. Their entry, "Go for the Heart," came in fourth place out of eight songs. Sox released the song as a single before disbanding. Fox collaborated on "Santa Maria" by DJ Milano, a 1997 cover version of the original 1995 song by Croatian-Dutch model and singer Tatjana. She collaborated with Swedish singer Günther, who recorded a cover version of her 1986 hit "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" for his 2004 album Pleasureman. His version features new vocals by Fox, who also appeared in the music video.
In August 2023, she embarked on a multi city US tour along with Bad Boys Blue and Boney M, which included stops in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and San Jose. The shows were put together by Los Angeles based promoters LA Concert Group.
Film and television
Fox and Mick Fleetwood co-presented the Brit Awards 1989. Televised live by the BBC, the broadcast has been described as "chaotic" and an "epic shambles". The presenters repeatedly missed cues and made incorrect introductions, including failing to show a recorded message from Michael Jackson and introducing Boy George as the Four Tops. Fox later claimed that the presenters were given cards containing incorrect information, that the autocue was malfunctioning, that Bros fans disrupted the show with continuous screaming, and that her co-presenter was "out of it".
In 1990, Fox appeared on the American sitcom Charles in Charge as Samantha Steele, a fictional rock star. She also featured in The Match (1999), 7 Cases (2015), and the comedy horror film Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017). In 1995 she guest-starred in the Hindi film Rock Dancer.
In 2008, Fox and her then-partner Myra Stratton took part in Celebrity Wife Swap, exchanging with Freddie Starr and his wife Donna. In November 2009, she participated in ITV's I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!; she was voted out on day 16. In 2010, she appeared in a celebrity episode of Come Dine with Me with Calum Best, Janice Dickinson, and Jeff Brazier. In 2016, she featured in Celebrity Big Brother 18, finishing in seventh place. In 2023, she appeared on Celebrity MasterChef.
Fox's parents separated in 1988. Fox claims that her father, who abused cocaine and alcohol, violently assaulted her in 1991, leaving her with cuts, bruises, and two broken ribs. Following a legal dispute over her finances, she spoke to her father only once during the last decade of his life; he died in 2000. She has two half-siblings, Frederica and Frankie, from her father's second marriage.
Fox had several relationships with men. She dated Australian fraudster Peter Foster but turned down his marriage proposal, later saying: "My parents had split and here was a man who was clever, manipulative and domineering. I came close to marrying him because I was so vulnerable". She was also romantically linked to journalist Kit Miller, Spanish bullfighter Rafi Camino, and Paul Stanley, the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of American rock band Kiss.
Fox's sexual orientation was publicly called into question in 1999, after she judged a lesbian beauty pageant. At the time, she was living with Australian-born guitarist and musical collaborator Cris Bonacci, who was rumoured to be her lover. Bonacci later confirmed that she and Fox were secretly in a relationship for four and a half years. In 2003, Fox came out as a lesbian and stated that she was in a relationship with her then-manager Myra Stratton. Fox later said she had realised she was gay by her mid-20s but had been reluctant to come out because, having dealt with stalkers, she feared the potential reactions of some fans. Fox remained in a relationship with Stratton until the latter died from cancer in 2015, aged 60. The following year, Fox began dating her tour manager Linda Birgitte Olsen, a native of Norway. The couple became engaged on Valentine's Day in 2020, after Olsen proposed to Fox, but postponed their wedding due to COVID-19 restrictions. They married on 18 June 2022 in a Eurovision-themed ceremony at King's Oak Hotel in Epping Forest, Essex.
In 2008, Fox donated her favourite bra to a charity auction.
- Touch Me (1986)
- Samantha Fox (1987)
- I Wanna Have Some Fun (1988)
- Just One Night (1991)
- 21st Century Fox (1997)
- Angel with an Attitude (2005)
Awards and recognition
|8th Brit Awards||Best Female Solo Artist||1988||Nominated|||
|Diamond Awards Festival||Sales Achievement||1987||Won|||
|Music Week Europarade Year End Charts||Nº 1 Single "Touch Me" (I Want Your Body)||1986||Won|||
|Music & Media "Pan European Awards"||Herself||1987||Won|||
|European Hot 100 Singles – Hot 100 of the Year||"Touch Me (I Want Your Body)"||1986||3rd place|||
|European Hot 100 Albums – Hot 100 of the Year||Touch Me||1986||89th place|||
|"Euroclips" Europe's Top 50 Video Clips 1987||"Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now"||1987||Tie|||
|European Hot 100 Singles – Hot 100 of the Year||"Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now"||1987||10th place|||
|European Hot 100 Albums – Hot 100 of the Year||Touch Me||1987||67th place|||
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
|Gold||The Music Video Collection||1990||Video Longform||Certified|
|Gold||I Wanna Have Some Fun||1989||Album||Certified|
|Gold||"I Wanna Have Some Fun"||1989||Single||Certified|
- Schott, Ben. "Ben Shott's Almanac for April 2008". thetimes.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Samantha Fox". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
- Alison Moyet wins British Female presented by Chris De Burgh | BRIT Awards 1988, archived from the original on 14 February 2023, retrieved 14 February 2023
- "Samantha Fox teases new album and potential Australian tour". OUTInPerth | LGBTQIA+ News and Culture. 2 January 2023. Archived from the original on 14 February 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
- Lane, Harriet (2 February 2003). "Sam Fox is still up front". The Observer. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Wilson, Katie (16 August 2023). "Sam Fox's hidden family heartache behind Celebrity MasterChef appearance". mirror. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- Fleming, Amy (13 December 2017). "Samantha Fox on fame at 16, stalkers and David Cassidy: 'I kneed him and told him where to go'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
- Rodger, James (6 March 2023). "Sam Fox devastated as sister Vanessa dies suddenly aged 50". BirminghamLive. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- Tonks, Phoebe (5 March 2023). "Sam Fox shares heartache after little sister Vanessa dies following heart attack". OK! Magazine. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- "Samantha Fox". Where are They Now?. Comedy Central. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Samantha Fox". thebiographychannel.co.uk. 2012. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- James, Gary (2009). "The Samantha Fox Interview". classicbands.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Tuber, Keith (May 1987). "On the Hunt with Samantha Fox". Orange Coast Magazine: 160–162. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Alt URL Archived 30 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine
- "8 startling facts about The Sun's Page 3". Digital Spy. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- Hunt, Dennis (15 March 1987). "BRITAIN'S SINGING FOX". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
- "Where Are They Now? Samantha Fox". Comedy Central (UK). Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Grinter, Alison (20 January 2010). "Look who's talking: Samantha Fox Interview". tntmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Blair, Iain (19 April 1987). "Samantha's Fox Image Paying Off". The Pittsburgh Press. Archived from the original on 10 May 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Samantha Fox insured her breasts for £1million during modelling career". Yahoo News. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (11 December 2017). "Samantha Fox accuses David Cassidy of sexual assault". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- Gallery of various 1996 issues of Playboy featuring Fox at playboycoverarchive.com Archived 27 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Samantha Fox on new 80's-inspired album". BBC News. 18 August 2012. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Touch Me (Deluxe Edition)". Cherry Red Records. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
- "A Journey Through Stock Aitken Waterman: Ep 42: Samantha Fox on I Only Wanna Be With You and beyond on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Archived from the original on 19 December 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
- "touch me (i want your body) | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
- tolsen (2 January 2013). "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
- "SAMANTHA FOX | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2023. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
- Christa D'Souza, "The Curse of Page 3: Sam Fox on Her New Life—and Today's Topless Pretenders", Daily Express, 18 February 1997.
- "Sam Fox to release new 'Greatest Hits'". Digitalspy.com. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- "Cherry Pop Reissues Samantha Fox Titles, Needs Love Too - The Second Disc". The Second Disc. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
- "Samantha Fox planning to include Steve Strange collaboration on new album as 'dedication' to late Visage star". RETROPOP. 9 June 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- "United Kingdom: A Song for Europe 1995". Eurovisionworld. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- "Sox". Discogs. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- "Boney M/Samantha Fox/BBB". Choose Chicago. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
- Argyrakis, Andy (25 August 2023). "Boney M., Samantha Fox, Bad Boys Blue ignite a Europop explosion inside the Copernicus Center". Chicago Concert Reviews. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
- Benedictus, Leo (27 April 2011). "In praise of the (failed) teleprompter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- Owens, David (21 February 2018). "What it was like at the disastrous 1989 Brit Awards". WalesOnline. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
- Wilson, Victoria (16 August 2023). "Samantha Fox Celebrity MasterChef EXCLUSIVE: 'I'm not a sexy cook!'". whattowatch.com. Retrieved 1 October 2023.
- Vasagar, Jeevan (6 December 2002). "Serial fraudster who keeps bouncing back". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016 – via www.theguardian.com.
- Goddard, Kay (12 December 2013). "Notes on a neck lift: My man makeover has made me look 20 years younge". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- "Samantha Fox y Rafi Camino, aquel romance olvidado". Vanity Fair. 15 April 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- Custodio, John (29 July 2004). "Sam I Am". Montreal Mirror. Archived from the original on 23 August 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Samantha Fox Interview". Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
- Bullock, Andrew (19 August 2016). "Celebrity Big Brother: Samantha Fox on falling in love with a woman". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- Kindon, Frances (19 March 2020). "Coronavirus, tragedy and lesbian love - what happened next to the Page 3 pin-ups". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
- "My 4-year affair with SAM". TheFreeLibrary.com. 8 February 2003. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "Samantha Fox Needs Love Too". AfterEllen.com. 18 October 2005. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- Lane, Harriet (2 February 2003). "She's still up front". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- McCartney, Gemma (5 May 2021). "Sam Fox honours late partner Myra as she preps for wedding to Linda Olsen". OK! Magazine. Archived from the original on 10 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- Pike, Molly (31 March 2020). "Sam Fox 'engaged' to girlfriend Linda Olsen 4 years after long-term partner died". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
- "Samantha Fox opens up about losing her partner Myra Stratton to cancer". HELLO!. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
- Delaney, Zoe (19 June 2022). "Inside Sam Fox's wedding: Norwegian pop stars, three-tier cakes and custom cars". The Mirror. Archived from the original on 22 June 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
- McCormack, Kirsty (10 June 2021). "Sam Fox talks wedding plans as fiancée says she was her 'celebrity crush'". mirror. Archived from the original on 10 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- "Samantha Fox's wedding plans put on hold". RTE. 1 April 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
- "Samantha Fox marries tour manager in Eurovision themed wedding". Yahoo News. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
- "Buy Sam Fox's bra for charity". Charities Aid Foundation. 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Ian McKellen, Paul O'Grady and Samantha Fox star in gay awareness ad". guardian.co.uk. 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Brit Awards", 8th Brit Awards, 8 February 1988, archived from the original on 28 March 2022, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "Diamond Awards" (PDF), Music & Media, 11 November 1987, archived (PDF) from the original on 5 April 2022, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "Europarade" (PDF), Music Week, 10 January 1987, archived (PDF) from the original on 5 July 2022, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "Pan European Awards" (PDF), Music & Media, 10 January 1987, archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2021, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "European Hot 100" (PDF), Music & Media, 27 December 1986, archived (PDF) from the original on 21 August 2020, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "Euroclips" (PDF), Music & Media, 26 December 1987, archived (PDF) from the original on 11 March 2023, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "European Hot 100" (PDF), Music & Media, 26 December 1987, archived (PDF) from the original on 11 March 2023, retrieved 4 April 2022
- "RIAA Awards", Gold Platinum Awards, archived from the original on 10 August 2022, retrieved 4 April 2022