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k.d. lang

When k.d. lang released her first major-label album in 1987, she caused considerable controversy within the traditional world of country music. With her vaguely campy approach, androgynous appearance, and edgy, rock-inflected music, very few observers knew what to make of her or her music, although no one questioned her considerable vocal talents. That confusion never quite dissipated over the course of her career, even when she abandoned country music for torchy adult contemporary pop in 1992 with her fourth album, Ingénue.

Born in Alberta, Canada, lang was first drawn toward music while she was in college. In particular, she was attracted to the music of Patsy Cline. She became acquainted with Cline's music while she was preparing to star in a collegiate theatrical production based on the vocalist's life. Soon, lang immersed herself within Cline's life and music and decided that she would pursue a career as a professional singer. With the help of guitarist/co-songwriter Ben Mink, she formed a band, named the Reclines in tribute to Patsy Cline, in 1983, and they recorded a debut album, Friday Dance Promenade, which received some positive notices in independent papers. A follow-up album, A Truly Western Experience, was released in 1984 and received even better reviews and led to national attention. In 1985, lang was named the Most Promising Female Vocalist by the Juno Awards.

All of the Canadian attention led to the interest of a number of American record labels. Sire signed lang in early 1986, and she recorded her first record for the label later that year. The result, Angel with a Lariat, was produced by Dave Edmunds and appeared in the fall of 1986. The mix of '50s-styled ballads, kitschy rockabilly, and honky tonk numbers on Angel with a Lariat received good reviews, especially from rock critics. The album had heavy support from college radio as well as cutting-edge country stations. Though it was a mainstream hit in Canada and an underground smash in the U.S., Nashville resisted lang, especially her tongue-in-cheek concert appearances. As she was recording her second Nashville album in 1987, lang performed a duet with Roy Orbison on his old hit "Crying," which was recorded for the film Hiding Out. The single was released at the end of the year and was a hit, marking her first appearance on the country charts.

Shadowland, her second Sire album, made her debt to Patsy Cline explicit. Recorded with Cline's producer, Owen Bradley, the album lacked the campy humor of Angel with a Lariat, which helped it succeed in traditional country circles -- "I'm Down to My Last Cigarette," the first single from the record, was her first to break the country Top 40. Shadowland became a sizable word-of-mouth hit, both in modern country and alternative music circles, which led to it going gold. The following year lang released the harder-edged Absolute Torch and Twang, which increased her mainstream American country audience, in addition to being a college radio and Canadian hit. Lang won a Grammy -- Best Country Vocal Performance, Female -- for the album in 1989, and "Full Moon of Love" became a Top 25 hit in the summer of 1989. The attention made lang a minor celebrity, which meant that when she launched a protest against meat eating in 1990, it became a media sensation.

Before the release of her fourth album, lang declared that she was a lesbian in an interview in The Advocate, which could have been a risky proposition, since Nashville's industry was notorious for not accepting people who fell outside of the margins of the mainstream. However, the new album was not a country album. Ingénue was a set of adult contemporary pop that owed very little to country. Its first single, "Constant Craving," became a Top 40 American hit and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, leading the album to platinum status in America, Britain, and Australia; it went double platinum in Canada.

Ingénue won lang a new audience, but she didn't immediately produce a follow-up to it. Instead, her next recorded work was the largely instrumental soundtrack for Gus Van Sant's film adaptation of Tom Robbins' Even Cowgirls Get the Blues in 1993; the soundtrack was actually released several months before the film. It wasn't until 1995 that lang delivered All You Can Eat, her full-fledged follow-up to Ingénue. All You Can Eat continued the pop direction of its predecessor, showing no traces of country. The album didn't enjoy the mass commercial acceptance of Ingénue, but it was a moderate success, proving that she had a dedicated cult following. Lang continued to follow her pop-oriented instincts on 2000's Invincible Summer, while embracing traditional popular standards on 1997's Drag (a collection of songs about smoking) and in her duet with Tony Bennett on his 2001 set Playin' with My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues. (Lang also went out on the road with Bennett for a successful co-headlining concert tour.)

In 2004, after lang's contract with Sire Records ran its course, she signed with the artist-friendly Nonesuch imprint and recorded Hymns of the 49th Parallel, a collection of tunes by Canadian songwriters. Reintarnation, a compilation of her Sire years, was released in 2006, and lang unveiled her first batch of original material in eight years with 2008's Watershed. Lang's third Nonesuch effort, the purportedly country-centric Sing It Loud, arrived in April 2011. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Sing It Loud

1. I Confess

2. A Sleep With No Dreaming

3. The Water's Edge

4. Perfect Word

5. Sugar Buzz

6. Sing It Loud

7. Inglewood

8. Habit Of Mind

9. Heaven

10. Sorrow Nevermore

x

Track List: Watershed

1. I Dream Of Spring

2. Je Fais La Planche

3. Coming Home

4. Once In A While

5. Thread

6. Close Your Eyes

7. Sunday

8. Flame Of The Uninspired

9. Upstream

10. Shadow And The Frame

11. Jealous Dog

x

Track List: Reintarnation

1. Pay Dirt

2. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes

3. Big Boned Gal

4. Don't Be A Lemming Polka

5. Curious Soul Astray

6. It's Me

7. Luck In My Eyes

8. Diet Of Strange Places

9. Big Big Love

10. Trail Of Broken Hearts

11. Nowhere To Stand

12. Friday Dance Promenade

13. Got The Bull By The Horns

14. Angel With A Lariat

15. Pine And Stew

16. Hanky Panky

17. Pullin' Back The Reins

18. Cowgirl Pride

19. Changed My Mind

20. Turn Me Round

x

Track List: Hymns Of The 49th Parallel

1. After The Gold Rush

2. Simple

3. Helpless

4. A Case Of You

5. The Valley

6. Hallelujah

7. One Day I Walk

8. Fallen

9. Jericho

10. Bird On A Wire

11. Love Is Everything

x

Track List: Live By Request

1. Summerfling (Live)

2. Big Boned Gal (Live)

3. Black Coffee (Live)

4. Trail Of Broken Hearts (Live)

5. Crying (Live)

6. Don't Smoke In Bed (Live)

7. The Consequences Of Falling (Live)

8. Miss Chatelaine (Live)

9. Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray (Live)

10. Barefoot (Live)

11. Constant Craving (Live)

12. Wash Me Clean (Live)

13. Pullin' Back The Reins (Live)

14. Simple (Live)

x

Track List: Invincible Summer

1. The Consequences Of Falling

2. Summerfling

3. Suddenly

4. It's Happening With You

5. Extraordinary Thing

6. Love's Great Ocean

7. Simple

8. What Better Said

9. When We Collide

10. Curiosity

11. Only Love

x

Track List: Drag

1. Don't Smoke In Bed

2. The Air That I Breathe

3. Smoke Dreams

4. My Last Cigarette

5. The Joker

6. Theme From The Valley Of The Dolls

7. Your Smoke Screen

8. My Old Addiction

9. Till The Heart Caves In

10. Smoke Rings

11. Ain't It Funny

12. Love Is Like A Cigarette

x

Track List: All You Can Eat

1. If I Were You

2. Maybe

3. You're OK

4. Sexuality

5. Get Some

6. Acquiesce

7. This

8. World Of Love

9. Infinite And Unforeseen

10. I Want It All

x

Track List: Ingenue

1. Save Me

2. The Mind Of Love

3. Miss Chatelaine

4. Wash Me Clean

5. So It Shall Be

6. Still Thrives This Love

7. Season Of Hollow Soul

8. Outside Myself

9. Tears Of Love's Recall

10. Constant Craving

x

Track List: Shadowland

1. Western Stars

2. Lock, Stock And Teardrops

3. Sugar Moon

4. I Wish I Didn't Love You So

5. Once Again Around The Dance Floor

6. Black Coffee

7. Shadowland

8. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes

9. Tears Don't Care Who Cries Them

10. I'm Down To My Last Cigarette

11. Busy Being Blue

12. Honky Tonk Angels' Medley

x

Track List: A Truly Western Experience (25th Anniversary Edition)

Disc 1

1. Friday Dance Promenade

2. Damned Old Dog

3. Bopalena

4. Pine And Stew

5. Up To Me

6. Tickled Pink

7. Hanky Panky

8. There You Go

9. Busy Being Blue

10. Stop, Look And Listen

11. Hooked On Junk

12. Burrs Under Your Saddle (Demo)

13. Hungry For Love (Live)

14. Johnny Get Angry (Live)

15. Mercy (Live)

Disc 2
x

Track List: Absolute Torch And Twang

1. Luck In My Eyes

2. Three Days

3. Trail Of Broken Hearts

4. Big Boned Gal

5. Didn't I

6. Wallflower Waltz

7. Full Moon Full Of Love

8. Pullin' Back The Reins

9. Big Big Love

10. It's Me

11. Walkin' In And Out Of Your Arms

12. Nowhere To Stand

x

Track List: Angel With A Lariat

2. High Time For A Detour

3. Diet Of Strange Places

4. Got The Bull By The Horns

5. Watch Your Step Polka

6. Rose Garden

8. Angel With A Lariat

9. Pay Dirt

10. Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray

x

Track List: Hallelujah EP

1. Hallelujah (Vancouver Winter 2010 Version)

2. Hallelujah

3. Hallelujah (Live Version From Juno Awards)

x

Track List: I Confess (Radio Edit) (Radio Single)

x

Track List: Sugar Buzz (Radio Single)

Comments

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My last name is Lang �� not related doe
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Elzabeth regina??? Where are you??
LRF Frankee
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What initially hooked me w/k. d. was her Patsy Kline covers. I give her props for coming out, for her (brave, considering where she's from) pro-vegetari a n stand, although i am a part-time carnivore. I almost fell over the first time i heard "Crying" w/Roy-truly a masterpiece. Also love her "hymns..." CD - another masterpiece for this awesome vocalist!
Report as inappropriate
goodwell
A really beautiful version of this song, Help Me' by Joni Mitchell. It rivals her own version of it in every way.
Report as inappropriate
Please please hallelujah peace Love Truth. Unbroken. Love Love. Lt
Report as inappropriate
I will always love you K.D. Lang. Amazing voice and talent. Your soul is amazing, never shall you be weighed down by the negative of individuals in this world. No matter if we spell or fallow the rules of correctness lol.
Report as inappropriate
I love your voice and role model you made for me on identifying myself K.D. Lang. I am thankful for you always. Your voice is amazing, love Roy ordison too. Love all your work. And so it shall be in this great universe.
Report as inappropriate
@emilygklein grammar* fix your own before you insult someone else over it.
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frankwiener
Loved k.d.'s rendition of Helpless when I recently heard it at the end of the Canadian film Away From Her (2006?), and here it is on Pandora. Life is good.
Report as inappropriate
emilygklein
It's quite sad that people came to this page to post a comment on this artist and they see you hating for no good reason. If you're going to hate, go do it on "Shake It Off"'s page.
Report as inappropriate
emilygklein
I feel sorry for you. Except, sorry, let me step. Out. Of. The. Way. I don't want to get run through now, do I?
Report as inappropriate
emilygklein
Well, @alabastervi l l i s 0 , that's rather egotistical of you, isn't it? Pretty high and mighty you think you are, I bet. And what a miserable life you must lead, hating people for no good reason. It's sad, actually, that you can't do anything else with your life other than hate people (with bad punctuation and grammer no less) on random Pandora songs.
Report as inappropriate
This song makes me cry���������
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loissroka
HALLELUJAH /k.d.lang

Very good version.
Report as inappropriate
Ty
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I love Joni Mitchell, and real country.
Report as inappropriate
rsuzette40
Saw KD live in The Grand Old Opry in Nashville to a packed house, Fantastic! What a talent.
Report as inappropriate
Wow gurlie your voice is like velvet, 26 years ago austin live!
Report as inappropriate
I loved Roy Orbison so when I heard KD do Crying with him I knew she was someone very special and saw her in Cary NC.
Report as inappropriate
Get help markhall87
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An amazing voice~~incre d i b l y classical
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Beautiful voice☺
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Markhall87.. . Very untastefull remark.. Shame on you
Report as inappropriate
ctrlwyr: LL was abrick. KD was amazing. A voice of an angel
Report as inappropriate
Never was a fan until I saw her live with Lyle Lovett...ama z i n g woman and what talent!
Report as inappropriate
jimndean
you'll always be one of my favorites!
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midnightrode o s a
We Love you so much , i get chill's when i hear you sing , we are so proud of you .
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You make me cry~~~ amazing beautifully calming, like silk....voic e ~ ~ ~ ~
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Hallelujah!
:,,)
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Ingenue~~~~~
Love her voice~~~~
True... Agapa3.... Simply put~~
Report as inappropriate
agapa3
My favorite version of this song. Love KD Lang. She has such a beautiful effortless clear amazing voice.
Report as inappropriate
A fantastic voice ... None like hers!!!!!
Classic!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
You have a magic in your song that when you voice, it is heard.
Report as inappropriate
She will never know how when I was in high school, her music saved my life. I fell in love with her voice, when I heard her sing BAREFOOT on a MTv unplug concert. Literally went out and bought every album she had made to date. I then fell in love with her when I saw a video of her concert in Sydney, which confused the hell out of me. I didn't know if i was gay, but i knew she touched me in a way i had never been touched before. She awakened feelings I had no idea i had. I drove 3 hrs to Prov
Report as inappropriate
I totally agree with queenmomgail ' s comment! Velvet!!
Report as inappropriate
queenmomgail
Oh, my GOD......... . w h a t a voice......I f you could hear velvet, it would sound like KD's voice. Love her.
Report as inappropriate
My favorite crossover female vocalist
Report as inappropriate
Nice stuff. Thanks kd.
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Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. .....Halallo u i a !
Report as inappropriate
oma.b
She has the voice of an angel. Obviously I love it.
Report as inappropriate
Love the tone of his voice
Report as inappropriate
Some idiots hate her because she's different. .... idiots
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I hate your songs

Report as inappropriate
k.d. lang is a pioneer, and reshaped the music scene and our culture. She's a gifted performer for sure, an incredible artist who continues to amaze me. Her words are true, her voice speaks to the soul. She has been a great influence on my career. Thank you k.d. I hope you keep sharing your music with us.
Report as inappropriate
So beautiful n true
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I am in love with her voice!
Report as inappropriate
LOVE her cover on this song.....tal e n t and a beautiful voice! Bare truth...from the soul!
Report as inappropriate
lap6771
Absolute Torch and Twang was my first intro to kd lang. I was hooked from that time. Beautiful and heart felt talent !!!!!
Report as inappropriate
midnightrode o s a
You are by far one of the best singers ever THANK YOU for bring joy to our live with the way your sing , i have always loved your voice truly amazing talent you bring tears to my eyes , hug from TEXAS
Report as inappropriate
ricadriana
So soothing...a h h h h h h . ..
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