About Sarah McLachlan
Sarah Ann McLachlan, OC, OBC is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range, as of 2009, she had sold over 30 million albums worldwide. McLachlan’s best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards and four Juno Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians on an unprecedented scale. The Lilith Fair concert tours took place from 1997 to 1999, and resumed in the summer of 2010. On May 6, 2014, she released her first album of original music in four years, titled Shine On. Sarah McLachlan was born on January 28th, the year 1968, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and placed with the McLachlan family who later legally adopted her.
As a child, she took voice lessons, along with studies in classical piano and guitar. At the age 17 years old and still a student at Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, she fronted a short-lived rock band called The October Game. One of the band’s songs, “Grind”, credited as a group composition, can be found on the independent Flamingo Records release Out of the Fog and the CD Out of the Fog Too. It has yet to be released elsewhere. Her high school yearbook predicted that she was “destined to become a famous rock star”.
Sarah McLachlan Career
After signing with Nettwerk McLachlan was prompted to move to Vancouver, British Columbia. There she recorded her first album, Touch, in 1988, which received both critical and commercial success and included the song “Vox”. During this period she also contributed to an album by Moev, provided vocals on Manufacture’s “As the End Draws Near,” and embarked on her first national concert tour as an opening act for The Grapes of Wrath. Her 1991 album, Solace, was her mainstream breakthrough in Canada, spawning the hit singles “The Path of Thorns (Terms)” and “Into the Fire”. Solace also marked the beginning of her partnership with Pierre Marchand. Marchand and McLachlan have been collaborators ever since, with Marchand producing many of McLachlan’s albums and occasionally co-writing songs.
She released Fumbling Toward Ecstasy, her strongest and most personal effort to date, in late 1993, after six months in a Montreal studio with collaborator/producer Pierre Marchand. The album peaked in the U.S. charts at number 50; by the end of 1994, it reached platinum status after spending 62 weeks on the chart. “Possession,” an atmospheric single that mixed electronica influences with lyrics inspired by a stalker, broke the Top 100 and received considerable airplay, especially on modern rock radio, where it peaked at number 14. “Good Enough” also found a home in that format, reaching number 16. The Freedom Sessions, consisting mainly of alternate versions of tracks from Fumbling, arrived in 1995; that same year also saw the release of “I Will Remember You,” which McLachlan wrote as the theme for Brothers McMullen. Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff, a collection of non-LP tracks and remixes, was issued in Canada in 1996.
In the year 1997, McLachlan began work on her fourth album, the enormously successful Surfacing, which debuted at number two on the pop albums chart. She also organized the Lilith Fair tour, a package tour focusing on emerging women singer/songwriters. In Spring 1998, the motion picture City of Angels featured “Angel”. It became the No. 1 album on the Billboard chart. More than five months after the movie disappeared from the theatres, City of Angels: Music from the Motion Picture remained firmly entrenched among Billboard’s top 40 albums. This soundtrack earned quadruple-platinum status. In 1999, she sings “When She Loved Me”, a song about how a girl named Emily used to play with a cowgirl doll named Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack), but how Jessie is forgotten as Emily grows older, in the Pixar animated movie “Toy Story 2” The song is sung through Jessie’s perspective.
McLachlan returned to public life and touring with her 2003 album release, Afterglow, which contained the singles “Fallen”, “Stupid”, and “World On Fire”. Rather than shoot a conventional music video for “World On Fire”, McLachlan donated all but $15 of the $150,000 budget to various charitable causes around the world and then used the video to explain how it benefited the communities that received the money. In late 2004, another live album, Afterglow Live, was released. The CD consisted of several tracks from a full-length concert, which was included in its entirety on a DVD, as well as the three music videos from Afterglow. In the year 2004, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, who credits McLachlan and her music for lifting him from a period of depression, as he described publicly on NPR Moth Radio Hour “Angel” dated September 9, 2014, invited her to join him on a track from his solo album. Although the album was not released until early 2006, remixes of the song “Just Like Me” were included on a number of compilations in 2005.
McLachlan released two albums in the year 2006: Mirrorball: The Complete Concert, which captured the entirety of the last date on her 1998 tour, and Wintersong, a collection of traditional and modern Christmas covers (plus one new song, the title cut). She then returned to original material for 2010’s Laws of Illusion, her first studio album in nearly seven years. Featuring “One Dream,” which she wrote for the 2009 Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, the album was released several weeks before the start of Lilith Fair 2010, the festival’s first appearance in more than a decade. McLachlan spent the next couple of years focusing on her charitable endeavor The Sarah McLachlan School of Music, which provided free music lessons to at-risk kids in Vancouver.In 2013, she returned to the studio to record a new album with longtime collaborator Pierre Marchand, inspired by the recent death of her father. Parting ways with Arista, her label home for more than 20 years, she signed to Verve. She released Shine On, her first album for the label and another collaboration with Pierre Marchand, in May of 2014. Shine On debuted at number one on the Canadian charts and number four in the U.S.; it would win the Juno for Best Adult Contemporary Album. In October 2016, McLachlan released Wonderland, her second Christmas album.
Sarah McLachlan Awards and Achievements
McLachlan has been nominated for 26 Juno Awards and awarded 9 since the start of her career. In 1992, her video for “Into the Fire” was selected as best music video. In 1998, she won Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year (along with Pierre Marchand), Single of the Year for “Building a Mystery”, and Album of the Year for Surfacing. In 2000, she won an International Achievement award and in 2004, won Pop Album of the Year for Afterglow and again shared the Songwriter of the Year award with Pierre Marchand for the singles “Fallen”, “World on Fire”, and “Stupid”.
She has also won three Grammy Awards i.e She was awarded Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1997 for “Building a Mystery” and again in 1999 for the live version of “I Will Remember You”. She also scored Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1997 for “Last Dance”.Her song “Building a Mystery” came in at 91 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.McLachlan has been extensively profiled by media including cover stories for Rolling Stone, Time magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Flare, a Canadian fashion magazine.
Through her career, she has also received many awards, primarily in recognition of her efforts in launching Lilith Fair. She was awarded the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award in 1998 for advancing the careers of women in music. In 1999, she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada by then-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in recognition of her successful recording career, her role in Lilith Fair, and the charitable donations she made to women’s shelters across Canada. In 2001, she was inducted to the Order of British Columbia.
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On February 12, 2010, McLachlan performed her song “Ordinary Miracle” at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. On June 15, 2011, she was recognized with an honorary degree from Simon Fraser University. Kiwanis International presented her with the 2013 Kiwanis International World Service Medal to recognize her for founding the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, a free music school for at-risk youth in Vancouver, British Columbia.
On November 20, 2013, McLachlan was recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta.In 2012 she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. In May 2015 McLachlan received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts.On April 2, 2017, at the Juno Awards ceremony, Sara was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Sarah McLachlan Songs
- Ben’s Song
- Bring On The Wonder
- Don’t Give Up on Us
- Good Enough
- Hold On
- In Your Shoes
- Loving You Is Easy
- Ordinary Miracle
- Song for My Father
- U Want Me 2
- When She Loved Me
- World On Fire