As the song says, most girls progress "from crayons to perfume". However, few do it as memorably as Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie did in 1967. Born in Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, Marie got turned on to music by her family's record collection, which included the hits of Tommy Steele and Teresa Brewer. She sang along with them at home, and by age nine she was imitating them in public, backed by a local accordion group. She didn't take her singing seriously though, and was about to enrol in hairdressing school when she met and joined a six-piece band called The Gleneagles. As their spunky lead singer, she quickly became the focal point of the group. Their manager took to referring to her as "a lulu of a kid", and eventually that stuck as a more distinctive stage name. The band, in turn, re-titled themselves Lulu And The Luvers. Their first minor hit in 1964 was called "Shout" and a year later they scored a Top Ten hit in Britain called "Leave A Little Love". The group appeared on local TV and radio shows and toured Europe, including as a one time opening act for The Beatles. Lulu made her first film in 1965, the rarely seen, Gonks Go Beat. The following year she toured Poland, becoming the first woman to perform behind the Iron Curtain.

By 1967, Lulu had left The Luvers and was recording on her own for Columbia Records. Early in the year she had two U.K. hits, "The Boat That I Row" and "Let's Pretend". She toured with The Beach Boys, and her international success had begun. One night after the show, director James Clavell came to see her and simply said, "You've got the part," to which she asked, "What part"? He explained the plot of the movie he was putting together, To Sir, With Love. In the film, Sidney Poitier plays a novice teacher assigned to a tough East London school. Slowly he gains the respect of his rough gang of students, one of whom was a little Cockney kid, played by Lulu. "I didn't read for it or anything," she later recalled, "And I was afraid. All the other kids had been to acting school, and then working with Sidney Poitier!" But it came naturally. "When I first saw the movie, I thought, 'You cheeky thing, Lulu'. I crawled under a chair. All I could do was watch myself. The second time I saw it, I enjoyed the whole movie". Lulu sang the movie title track while the credits rolled, condensing the entire movie plot into less than three minutes. The song was released as a single on June 23rd, 1967, but didn't enter the U.S. charts until eleven weeks later. Once it did, it took off right away, spending over a month at number one beginning in October. In November, it was certified a million seller with eventual sales topping two million. Strangely, it was a complete flop in England, and marked the first time that a U.K. record reached number one in America without even grazing the British charts.

This odd pattern continued with later Lulu records, they either made the charts on one side of the Atlantic or the other, but seldom both. "Best Of Both Worlds" reached #32 in the U.S. in 1967, while "Me, The Peaceful Heart", "Boys" and "I'm A Tiger" all made the U.K. charts in 1968 without making dent on Billboard. She entered the hit parade in England again in 1969 with "Boom-Bang-a-Bang", a song that got little notice in North America. She reached the Hot 100 again in early 1970 with a song called "Oh Me Oh My, I'm A Fool For You Baby", which made it to #22. Lulu got her own British television show in 1969 and in 1970 she was a regular on American TV when she appeared on The Ray Stevens Show. Also in 1969, she married Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees, although the union only lasted until early 1973.

After the hit records stopped, Lulu was still a much sought after stage and TV personality. She was invited to appear on the BBC's anniversary show Fifty Years Of Music in 1972. Later that year she starred in the Christmas pantomime Peter Pan at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and repeated her performance at the London Palladium in 1975. On May 27th, 1974, BBC1 screened the special TV variety show, Bruce Forsyth Meets Lulu. Later that year she performed the title song for the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. She also covered David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World", which became her first U.K. Top 10 hit in five years, peaking at #3 in February 1974 and was a Top 10 hit in several other European countries. In 1975, she enjoyed a minor hit with the the Disco single "Take Your Mama For A Ride", which reached #37 on the U.K. chart. On New Year's Eve, 1976, Lulu performed "Shout" on BBC1's A Jubilee of Music, which celebrated British Pop music for Queen Elizabeth II's impending Silver jubilee. In 1977 Lulu married hairdresser John Frieda. The marriage produced one son, Jordan Frieda, before ending in 1991. She made a somewhat surprising return to the American charts in the Summer of 1981 with a #18 hit called "I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)", after which she disappeared from view in the U.S. From 1987 to early 1989, she reprised her role in Peter Pan in different London-based productions.

In 1993 Lulu recorded an album called "Independence", from which four singles reached the U.K. charts, including the title track which topped out at #11 and "I'm Back For More" which made it to #27. Two more songs from the LP made the charts the following year. Later in 1994 she teamed up with the boy band Take That on "Relight My Fire", which reached #1 on the U.K. singles chart. She joined up with the band as their opening act on their 1994 tour. In her spare time she continued to make guest appearances on BBC's Absolutely Fabulous and Comic Relief. April, 1999 brought a new single called "Hurt Me So Bad", which rose to #42 in Britain, followed by "Where The Poor Boys Dance" which made it to #24. Later that year she returned to BBC1 to host their Saturday night national lottery game show, Red Alert, from which her recording of the theme song managed to appear in the lower end of the U.K. Top 75.

At the dawn of the new millennium, Lulu was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II. Her 2002 autobiography was titled I Don't Want to Fight after the hit song she and her brother wrote with Steve DuBerry for Tina Turner. Lulu released her own version of the tune in 2003 as part of her album "The Greatest Hits". Her 2002 album, "Together", was a collection of duets with Elton John, Paul McCartney and others that went Gold in the U.K. A high-profile TV special called An Audience With Lulu, which saw her reunited with her first husband Maurice Gibb, featured a live performance of The Bee Gees' hit, "First of May".

2005 found her writing material for a new album, as well as hosting her own show on Radio 2. In March, 2007, Lulu appeared as a celebrity coach on U.S. TV's American Idol, where she also performed "To Sir With Love". Her complete Atco recordings, from 1969 to 1972, were released on November 12th 2007. The two CD set included previously unreleased material and demo versions of some of her well known recordings. In December of that year, she released a download single on iTunes in the U.K. called "Run Rudolph Run" and appeared in a Christmas television advertisement for Morrisons, the UK supermarket chain.

In November 2008, Lulu was included as one of a number of Scottish celebrities to be featured in the advertising campaign for Homecoming Scotland, a year-long event to encourage people around the world with Scottish heritage to return to Scotland. In January, 2009, she began a four week run as a vocal coach and advisor on the BBC show Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, where she helped choose the singer to represent the U.K. at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. That July, Lulu guest presented on STV's daily lifestyle show The Hour, alongside main anchor Stephen Jardine. After appearing at an ABBA tribute concert in Hyde Park, in London in September, Lulu announced that she would be touring the U.K. in Here Come the Girls, alongside Chaka Khan and Anastacia, which took in twenty different dates. In early 2010, Lulu performed the theme "The Word Is Love" in the movie Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!! and toured the U.K. a second time with Here Come the Girls with Anastacia and Heather Small. In November she hosted the BBC TV series Rewind the '60s, which focused on highlighting the social and political issues of the decade as well as music and interviews with personalities from the decade.

On February 26th, 2011, Lulu appeared in the second heat in the third series of Let's Dance for Comic Relief, where danced to Soulja Boy's hit "Crank That". In May she made an appearance on the ITV2 program Celebrity Juice and over the Summer she performed at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales and appeared on Chris Moyles' Quiz Night. In October and November Lulu took part in the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing, partnering with Brendan Cole, but was eliminated in the sixth week. On December 24th, 2011, she appeared on the ITV program Text Santa and on January 1st, 2012, Lulu reappeared in Absolutely Fabulous as herself after nearly seventeen years as Edina's disgruntled client. In August 2014 Lulu opened the closing ceremony of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. On April 13th, 2015, 67-year-old Lulu released her first new studio album in more than a decade, "Making Life Rhyme", that featured eleven new tracks. She made an appearance on the BBC's Breakfast News to launch the album. On July 1st, 2016, Lulu appeared as herself in the movie version of Absolutely Fabulous, released only in the UK. Her 2017 schedule had her slated for appearances across Great Britain during the Autumn.