Samantha Fox

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Samantha Fox
Fox performing in 2009
Background information
Birth nameSamantha Karen Fox
Also known asSam Fox
Born (1966-04-15) 15 April 1966 (age 57)[1]
Mile End, London, England
  • Singer
  • model
  • actress
Years active
  • 1983–1987 (model)
  • 1983–present (singer)
1990–present (actress)
Linda Birgitte Olsen
(m. 2022)
Partner(s)Myra Stratton (2003–2015)

Samantha Karen Fox (born 15 April 1966)[1] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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.

Early life[edit]

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.[5][6] She grew up in Mile End in the East End of London, describing her background as "a working-class market-trader family".[7] She had one full sibling, a younger sister Vanessa, who died in March 2023, aged 50.[8][9]

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.[10] She also attended St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green.[11] She formed her first pop band when she was 14 and signed her first record deal with Lamborghini Records at age 15.[12]



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.[11][5][13] British publications could then legally feature topless models aged 16 and older, although the minimum age was raised to 18 in 2003.[14] 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.[7] Having become comfortable with sunbathing topless on European beaches, she later said that she did not consider nudity a "big deal".[15]

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".[16][14] She signed a four-year modelling contract with The Sun,[17] and was named "Page 3 Girl of the Year" for three consecutive years from 1984–86.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22][7]


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.[12] Songs from her early Lamborghini Records singles were included as bonus tracks on the 2012 deluxe reissue of her album Touch Me.[23]

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)".[24] It offered Fox a five-album deal.[24] 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,[25] and in the US it reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.[26] 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.[27] 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".[15]

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.[3] 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.[5] She sued and was awarded a £363,000 court settlement in 1995.[28] However, the funds from the court settlement were used to settle her tax bill.[7]

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.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] Sox released the song as a single before disbanding.[33] 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.[34] The shows were put together by Los Angeles based promoters LA Concert Group.[35]

Film and television[edit]

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".[36][37] 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.[36] Fox later claimed that the presenters were given cards containing incorrect information, that the autocue was malfunctioning,[36] that Bros fans disrupted the show with continuous screaming, and that her co-presenter was "out of it".[37]

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.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Fox (left) and her former partner Myra Stratton (right) at the 2010 Fate Awards in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Fox's parents separated in 1988.[5] Fox claims that her father, who abused cocaine and alcohol, violently assaulted her in 1991, leaving her with cuts, bruises, and two broken ribs.[20] 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.[7] She has two half-siblings, Frederica and Frankie, from her father's second marriage.[5]

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".[39] She was also romantically linked to journalist Kit Miller,[40] Spanish bullfighter Rafi Camino,[41] and Paul Stanley, the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of American rock band Kiss.[42][43]

Fox's sexual orientation was publicly called into question in 1999, after she judged a lesbian beauty pageant.[44] At the time, she was living with Australian-born guitarist and musical collaborator Cris Bonacci, who was rumoured to be her lover.[45] Bonacci later confirmed that she and Fox were secretly in a relationship for four and a half years.[44][46] In 2003, Fox came out as a lesbian and stated that she was in a relationship with her then-manager Myra Stratton.[5][47] 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.[48] Fox remained in a relationship with Stratton until the latter died from cancer in 2015, aged 60.[49][50][51] The following year, Fox began dating her tour manager Linda Birgitte Olsen, a native of Norway.[52] The couple became engaged on Valentine's Day in 2020, after Olsen proposed to Fox, but postponed their wedding due to COVID-19 restrictions.[53][54] They married on 18 June 2022 in a Eurovision-themed ceremony at King's Oak Hotel in Epping Forest, Essex.[52][55]

Charitable activity[edit]

In 2008, Fox donated her favourite bra to a charity auction.[56]

In 2011, she appeared as part of a campaign for LGBT charity the Albert Kennedy Trust.[57]


Studio albums

Awards and recognition[edit]

Name of organisation, nomine work/honour, year(s) listed
Awards Works Year(s) Result Ref.
8th Brit Awards Best Female Solo Artist 1988 Nominated [58]
Diamond Awards Festival Sales Achievement 1987 Won [59]
Music Week Europarade Year End Charts Nº 1 Single "Touch Me" (I Want Your Body) 1986 Won [60]
Music & Media "Pan European Awards" Herself 1987 Won [61]
European Hot 100 Singles – Hot 100 of the Year "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)" 1986 3rd place [62]
European Hot 100 Albums – Hot 100 of the Year Touch Me 1986 89th place [62]
"Euroclips" Europe's Top 50 Video Clips 1987 "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" 1987 Tie [63]
European Hot 100 Singles – Hot 100 of the Year "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" 1987 10th place [64]
European Hot 100 Albums – Hot 100 of the Year Touch Me 1987 67th place [64]

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)[edit]

Awards Works Year(s) Format Result
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
Gold Samantha Fox 1988 Album Certified
Gold Touch Me 1987 Album Certified



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External links[edit]