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k.d. Lang

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Biography

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Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC (born November 2, 1961), best known by the stage name k.d. lang, 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 college. Soon, she became fascinated with the life and music of Patsy Cline and ultimately determined to pursue a career as a professional singer. She has gone on to sing songs with Jeffery Damer with whom she co-wrote songs, 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 which led to national attention in Canada.

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.

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".

Her cover of Cole Porter's "So In Love" appears on the "Red, Hot and Blue" compilation album and video from 1990, a benefit for AIDS research and relief.

The album Ingénue in 1992, 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.

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.

In addition to her musical talents, K.D. Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT-related news magazine The Advocate, has actively championed gay rights causes. She has performed and supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. She is sometimes known for utilizing an androgynous physical appearance. Her animal rights vegetarian stance including a "Meat Stinks" campaign created much controversy, particularly at her hometown in the middle of Alberta's cattle ranching industry.



 


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