Lynsey De Paul was born Lynsey Monckton Rubin in Cricklewood, London, in June 1950.
The petite singer and prolific songwriter brightened up many early-70s editions of Top Of The Pops with her immaculately crafted pop confections, captivating teen boys with her blonde hair, beauty spot and glamorous image while paving the way for Kate Bush and subsequent self-determining UK female singer-songwriters.
She studied at Hornsey College Of Art, which led to a career designing album sleeves. She then started songwriting, seeing her earliest ditties covered by Oliver! star Jack Wild, before signing with the ATV-Kirshner songwriting firm, first hitting the big time as co-writer of The Fortunes‘ Storm In A Teacup.
Lynsey started recording her own songs with the sweet, sultry Sugar Me, which hit #5 in 1972.
The follow-up, Getting A Drag (about a transvestite boyfriend) reached #18 before 1973’s wallflower anthem, Won’t Somebody Dance With Me? which rose to #14 and made her the first woman to win an Ivor Novello Award.
She was subversively sexy for the time, exhaling a soft-focus sensuality on playfully seductive outings such as So Good To You and the domination statement, Mama Do. That same year she supplied the party girl counter-vocal to the album version of Mott The Hoople‘s Roll Away The Stone and named the band’s replacement guitarist for Mick Ralphs ‘Ariel Bender’.
In 1974, Lynsey scored a Top 10 and won another Ivor Novello for her theme song to the hit ITV comedy series No, Honestly.
She released several albums during the 70s, including Taste Me . . . Don’t Waste Me and Love Bomb, but problems with manager Don Arden derailed her career in the mid-70s. A comeback with Mike Moran saw Rock Bottom come second in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest.
Lynsey was also renowned for her famous partners, courted by the likes of Ringo Starr, Roy Wood, Sean Connery, George Best, Dudley Moore and James Coburn, with whom she lived in California for three years.
She had stopped singing by the 80s but continued composing (including TV themes and two classical albums), pursuing a media career.
In 2013 she received fresh recognition after overseeing two anthologies of her music on Cherry Red, consolidating the legacy of an underrated, homegrown pop giant, who Spike Milligan affectionately christened Looney De Small.
Lynsey died on 1 October 2014 of a suspected brain haemorrhage. She was 64.