We woke up to the sad news today that Anita Roddick has passed away. Barely a week since Pavarotti breathed his last. Although neither of them probably even heard of Seletar Airbase, they do embody belief and passion for their causes. As does another memorable personality, Farrokh Bulsara (just a little more popularly known as Freddie Mercury) This post is dedicated to three people who influenced us, to pursue our believes and express creatively.
Anita Roddick is most known for founding The Body Shop, a venture she started with the aim of making an income for herself and her two daughters, Sam and Justine, while her husband was away. On her husband’s return, he joined the business. By 1991 the Body Shop had 700 branches and Roddick was awarded the 1991 World Vision Award for Development Initiative Award. In 1993 she told Third Way Magazine:
The original Body Shop was a series of brilliant accidents. It had a great smell, it had a funky name. It was positioned between two funeral parlours – that always caused controversy. It was incredibly sensuous. It was 1976, the year of the heatwave, so there was a lot of flesh around. We knew about storytelling then, so all the products had stories. We recycled everything, not because we were environmentally friendly but because we didn’t have enough bottles. It was a good idea. What was unique about it, with no intent at all, no marketing nous, was that it translated across cultures, across geographical barriers and social structures. It wasn’t a sophisticated plan, it just happened like that.
Her work includes a number of campaigns she personally participated in.
Pavarotti on the other hand inspired through sheer talent. Known mostly for his televised concerts, media appearances, and as one of The Three Tenors, his charity work benefiting refugees, the Red Cross and other causes was less known. The opening ceremony of the soccer 1990 World Cup in Italy launched the tenor into popular stardom after his performance of Nessun Dorma from Turandot.
And although he passed away in 1991, Freddie Mercury’s ability to entertain is very much still alive. One of Mercury’s most notable performances with Queen took place at Live Aid in 1985, during which the entire stadium audience of 72,000 people clapped, sang, and swayed in unison. Queen’s performance at the event has since been voted by a group of music executives as the greatest live performance in the history of rock music. The results were aired on a television program called “The World’s Greatest gigs”. In reviewing Live Aid in 2005, one critic wrote, “Those who compile lists of Great Rock Frontmen and award the top spots to Mick Jagger, Robert Plant et al. are guilty of a terrible oversight. Freddie, as evidenced by his Dionysian Live Aid performance, was easily the most godlike of them all.”