K.D. LANG Biography - Musicians


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Name: K.D. Lang                                                                               
Birth name: Kathryn Dawn Lang                                                                 
Born: 2 November 1961 Edmonton, Alberta Canada                                                 
K.D. Lang, OC (or k.d. lang, born Kathryn Dawn Lang on November 2, 1961) is a                 
Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer and songwriter.                                           
Lang was born November 2, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta to Audrey and Fred Lang.                   
The family moved to Consort, Alberta, when she was nine months old, and there                 
she grew up with her 2 sisters and 1 brother, on the Canadian prairies.                       
Lang was first drawn to country music when she attended Red Deer College.                     
Soon, she became fascinated with the life and music of Patsy Cline and                         
ultimately determined to pursue a career as a professional singer. Lang formed a               
Patsy Cline tribute band called the Reclines in 1983, and they recorded a debut               
album, Friday Dance Promenade. A follow-up album, A Truly Western Experience,                 
was released in 1984 and received strong reviews and led to national attention                 
in Canada.                                                                                     
Singing at country and western venues in Canada, she made several recordings                   
that received good reviews and earned a 1985 Canadian Juno Award for Most                     
Promising Female Vocalist. She accepted the award wearing a wedding dress and                 
made numerous tongue-in-cheek promises about what she would and would not do in               
the future, thus fulfilling the title of Most Promising. Lang has won eight Juno               
In 1986, she signed a contract with an American record producer in Nashville,                 
Tennessee, and received critical acclaim for her 1987 album, Angel with a Lariat               
which was produced by Dave Edmunds.                                                           
Her career received a huge boost when Roy Orbison chose her to record a duet of               
his standard, "Crying", a collaboration that won them the Grammy Award for Best               
Country Collaboration with Vocals.                                                             
The year 1988 marked the release of Shadowland, an album of torch country                     
produced by the legendary Owen Bradley. That year she performed "Turn Me Round"               
at the closing ceremonies of the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Later                 
that same year she would sing background vocals with Jennifer Warnes and Bonnie               
Raitt for Orbison's acclaimed television special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A                   
Black and White Night. Lang also guest-starred on Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas               
Special in 1988, where she sang "Jingle Bell Rock".                                           
K.D. Lang won the American Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal                         
Performance for her 1989 album, Absolute Torch and Twang. The single "Full Moon               
of Love" that stemmed from that album became a modest hit in the United States                 
in the summer of 1989 and a number 1 hit on the RPM Country chart in Canada.                   
Her cover of Cole Porter's "So In Love" appears on the Red Hot + Blue                         
compilation album and video from 1990, a benefit for AIDS research and relief.                 
The 1992 album IngĂ©nue, a set of adult contemporary pop songs that showed                     
comparatively little country influence, contained her most popular song, "Constant             
Craving". That song brought her multi-million sales, much critical acclaim, and               
the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Another top ten single                 
from the record was "Miss Chatelaine". The salsa-inspired track was ironic;                   
Chatelaine is a Canadian women's magazine which once chose Lang as its "Woman of               
the Year", and the song's video depicted Lang in an exaggeratedly feminine                     
manner, surrounded by bright pastel colours and a profusion of bubbles                         
reminiscent of a performance on the Lawrence Welk show.                                       
Lang contributed much of the music towards Gus Van Sant's soundtrack of the film               
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), and also did a cover of "Skylark" for the                 
1997 film adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. She performed "Surrender"     
for the closing titles of the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, having                     
previously worked with Bond composer David Arnold on his album Shaken and                     
Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.                                                 
In 1996, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.                                       
Lang ranked #33 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll in 1999 and #26 on                 
CMT' 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2002, one of only eight women to make               
both lists. The others were Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Dolly                   
Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Rondstadt, and Lucinda Williams.                                 
In 2003, she won her fourth Grammy Award, this time for Best Traditional Pop                   
Vocal Album for her collaboration with Tony Bennett, A Wonderful World.                       
On subsequent tours critical acclaim continued to come her way. In 2004, Stephen               
Holden of The New York Times wrote: "Few singers command such perfection of                   
pitch. Her voice, at once beautiful and unadorned and softened with a veil of                 
smoke, invariably hits the middle of a note and remains there. She discreetly                 
flaunted her technique, drawing out notes and shading them from sustained cries               
into softer, vibrato-laden murmurs. She balanced her commitment to the material               
with humor, projecting a twinkling merriment behind it all."                                   
In the same year, she released Hymns of the 49th Parallel, which featured cover               
versions of songs by iconic Canadian singer-songwriters: Bruce Cockburn, Leonard               
Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, and Neil Young. According                   
to the CRIA the Canadian Record Industry Association in April 2006 the album                   
went platinum in Canada selling over 100,000 copies. In December 2007 the album               
reached double platinum status in Australia selling over 140,000 copies.                       
Also in 2004 she sang the song "Little Patch of Heaven" for the Walt Disney                   
Feature Animation film Home on the Range.                                                     
On July 29, 2006, Lang performed her hit "Constant Craving" at the Outgames                   
Opening Ceremonies in Montreal, Canada.                                                       
In 2006 Lang duetted with singer Madeleine Peyroux on a cover of the Joni                     
Mitchell song "River" for Peyroux's album Half the Perfect World. That same year               
Lang was featured in Nellie McKay's second album, Pretty Little Head, singing                 
with McKay in "we had it right". In 2006 Lang sang a version of The Beatles' "Golden           
Slumbers" for the Happy Feet film soundtrack.                                                 
In 2007 she will be partnering with Anne Murray on a re-make of Murray's hit "A               
Love Song," to be featured on Murray's CD Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends.             
The duet was recorded in Los Angeles, and on Murray's official website there is               
a picture of Murray and Lang kneeling behind Murray's star on the Hollywood Walk               
of Fame. Anne Murray was Lang's childhood idol.                                               
She released an album of new material, Watershed on February 5, 2008. It is                   
her first collection of original material since Invincible Summer in 2000.