updated 07/31/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/31/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT
They're not in the Smithsonian—yet—but the gauzy dresses and clunky boots that constitute what Stevie Nicks (above, in Manhattan last year) calls her "funky but expensive Gypsy thing" are fashion icons. "My style has never really changed," says the Fleetwood Mac alum, 52. But her lifestyle has. Nicks beat a lengthy addiction to cocaine and to the tranquilizer Klonopin—and lost 30 lbs. Aside from her battle with her weight, she says, "I've always felt like a sexy girl. I'm really no different at 52 than I was at 25."
"I'm just not aging like a lot of people," says the grande dame of rock (above, at an April performance in New York City), who announced her plans for retirement earlier this month. At 60, though, "I have to care a little bit more about making sure my skin gets clean when I'm touring and using makeup every night," she says. At her homes in France and Switzerland, which she shares with her boyfriend of 14 years, German recording exec Erwin Bach, 44, Turner puts the miniskirts and stilettos "on the shelf," she says, and relies on moisturizer and homeopathic vitamins to help slow time. One thing she's not interested in, she says, is plastic surgery: "I don't think I'm going to need it. I don't want to be 65 or 70 and look 30 or 40."
"I think I look better than when I started," says Lauper, 47, who adds that she has abandoned the "war-paint" makeup of her '80s heyday. "Up close, it kind of freaked me out." But she still has fun with Day-Glo hair dyes. "I get bored and can't stay the same," says Lauper (right, in Anaheim, Calif., last year). Fashionwise she has conceded to time by giving up sleeveless clothing. "But I don't have flaps," she says. "I do my arm exercises regularly." Those include lifting Declyn, 2, her son with actor David Thornton, who after nine years of marriage still declares, "My wife is combustibly sexy."
After breaking through in 1971 with "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," about the realities of married life, Simon, 55 (above, in Manhattan this spring), is still known for her confessional lyrics (her latest album, The Bedroom Tapes, contains a song and her long, lanky form. When she looks in the mirror in her Martha's Vineyard home, woman looking older for the part."
With her clingy dresses and sky-high heels, the late-70s "It" girl and Blondie lead singer, now 55, energized the punk music scene, "Debbie was the pinup on every guy's wall," says longtime pal, musician Joey Ramone. Reunited with Blondie for two 1999 albums and a tour, Harry (below, in L.A. last year) "still has the fire," Ramone says. "When you're hot, you're hot."
The female half of the Eurythmics Was instrumental in creating the androgynous style of the New Wave '80s. Lennox has said that her man-tailored suits and close-cropped hair "evolved out of wanting to transcend being a cutesy female singer for men only." Although she softened up a bit in the'90s and went solo, the Scottish singer (above, in London last year), now a 45-year-old mother of two, is touring again with bandmate Dave Stewart—and back in diva drag.
At 47, she's still—gasp!—the 93-lb. pixie she was in the '80s. "I work out all the time," says the 5'3" free-weight and spinning fanatic (above, in Kansas City in 1999), who lives in Malibu with her guitarist husband, Neil Giraldo, 44, and their 15-and 6-year-old daughters. "I didn't have to exercise at all when I was younger." The hard-rocking Benatar has also unloaded her traditional black leather stage wear. "It's too hot," she says. "At my age you want to be comfortable." Another perquisite of getting older, she says, is that "I don't have anyone telling me to be Britney Spears, lovely as she is. I'm a plain girl who puts on eyeliner. But I've got a lot of zip."
Nearly two decades after topping the charts with "Physical," the wholesome Aussie-bred singer (below, during a May performance near L.A.) survived a 1992 bout with breast cancer. "I just try to stay healthy," says Newton-John, 51, the divorced mother of 14-year-old Chloe. Although she can still do justice to Spandex, "I have to do a little more preparation for my voice," she says. "Things come easier when you're 25." But with the help of yoga, "I can still jump around a little bit on 'Physical,' thank goodness."
Still sporting her trademark shag haircut and black eyeliner at 48, the Pretenders frontwoman (above, in New Jersey in '99) has given up smoking and wearing leather. (The longtime vegetarian also has become animal-rights activist; in March she spent a night in a Manhattan jail for tearing leather clothing off store mannequins during a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals demonstration.) "I never try to look sexy," says the mother of two. However, she admits, "I look pretty terrific with no clothes on, if you ask me. But that's for the X-files, not for public consumption."
When the leader of the world's most successful girl group launched her solo career in 1970, she gave up the look-alike costumes of the Supremes—and has been uniquely sleek ever since. "She has the same energy and an even better body," says Ross biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli. "She's flawless." Though the 56-year-old Ross (below, in Manhattan in April) told Britain's Daily Telegraph last year that she's coping with menopause, she added, "Diana Ross is still a hot mama."
"She was never intimidated by the most elaborate or the craziest outfits," said Bob Mackie, the designer who has created outrageous clothes for Cher since he costumed The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour in 1971. Now 54, the first woman known for flaunting her navel on TV still tours in fishnet frocks (above, in Michigan last fall). With help from plastic surgery (on her breasts and nose, she has admitted) and relentless four-hour-a-day workouts, "she's in great shape," Mackie said last year. "She still has a cut stomach."