Amanda Lear is a French singer, lyricist, painter, television presenter, actress and former model. She began her professional career as a fashion model in the mid-1960s and around that time she met the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and would remain his closest friend and muse for the next 15 years. Lear first came into the public eye as the cover model for Roxy Music's album For Your Pleasure in 1973.
Following the exposure to the music world she gained from the album cover, Lear went on to have a year-long affair with the married David Bowie, and appeared in the live performance of his hit song “Sorrow”.
From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, she was a million-album-selling disco queen, mainly in Europe. Her biggest hits included “Tomorrow" and "Queen of Chinatown”.
Lear’s alleged transsexual background has been commented upon in the media and in the biographies of those who knew Lear earlier in her life, including Salvador Dalí. April Ashley, a famous transsexual entertainer, has long claimed that in the 1950s and early 1960s, she and Lear, whose real name she claimed was Alain Tapp, were working together in transvestite revues in Paris, Madame Arthur and Le Carrousel. Despite Lear herself contradicting transsexual rumours already in the 1970s and explaining they were a part of strategy to draw public attention,they have persisted to date. However, an excerpt from an article from an Italian newspaper surfaced online in November 2011, including a reproduction of a copy of Lear’s birth act, which states that she was born Alain Maurice Louis René Tap on 18 June 1939 in Saigon, and a picture of Lear as a young man.