Lee Aaron (born Karen Lynn Greening, July 21, 1962) is a Canadian rock singer. She had several hits in the 1980s and early 1990s such as “Metal Queen”, “Whatcha Do to My Body”, and “Sex with Love.”
Aaron was born as Karen Lynn Greening in Belleville, Ontario, and began singing in school musicals at the age of five. She attended high school in Brampton, Ontario.
At age seventeen, Aaron’s face was badly bruised and her nose broken in a car accident. No surgery was required, but years later Canadian Musician Magazine mistakenly embellished the incident into Aaron requiring complete facial reconstruction. The magazine printed a retraction in the following month’s issue.
After singing in a music production when she was fifteen years old, she was asked to join a local rock group called “Lee Aaron”. She sang, played alto saxophone and keyboards in this first incarnation of the band, and took on the stage name of Lee Aaron.
Aaron recorded her debut album, The Lee Aaron Project, in 1982 on Freedom Records; it was later reissued on Attic. The album featured well-known musicians of the Toronto music scene, including members of Moxy, Rif Raf3 (Q107 Homegrown Vol 4 / Lee Aaron Project band), Santers, and Triumph’s Rik Emmett.[ Although the album was available in England only as an import, Aaron was invited to appear later that year at the Reading Festival.
In late 1982, Aaron flew to New York and posed topless for the men’s magazine OUI. The magazine’s March 1983 issue featured Aaron on the cover and in an interview. Aaron later concluded that posing for the magazine damaged her musical credibility; she regretted the decision and assigned blame for it to pressure from her manager.
1984’s recording of the album Metal Queen resulted in a multi-album deal with Attic Records. During the recording of Metal Queen, guitarist John Albani (ex-Wrabit) joined the band and he and Aaron formed a solid songwriting partnership that lasted eleven years.
Between 1984 and 1992, Aaron toured extensively through Europe, and made appearances in Japan and the United States. She released six albums on Attic Records in Canada, as well as international releases in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia and Japan. She won three Toronto Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist, and ten Juno nominations. Her 1985 album Call Of The Wild featured her well-known rock ballad “Barely Holdin On”.
Her most commercially successful album was Bodyrock, released in 1989. The album included several hit songs, including “Whatcha Do to My Body”, and was certified double platinum in Canada. In 1992, Aaron left Attic Records to start her own label, Hip Chic Music, and released two more albums. On 1994’s Emotional Rain (distributed by A & M Canada) Aaron recorded with Don Short and Don Binns (Sons of Freedom), Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie’s Tin Machine), and Knox Chandler (the Psychedelic Furs).
1995’s 2preciious was a project record written with members of Sons of Freedom, in which she dropped the name “Lee Aaron” entirely and used her real name, Karen. Neither of these recordings was commercially successful, and shortly afterwards the Sons broke up.
Lee Aaron with a message for fans, and a special performance live from our homes. We plan to do a series of Rockin’ From Home videos but it’s not as easy as one might expect, living in different locations across Canada. We’re hoping to bring you one or two a month, so stay tuned!