Sarah Ann McLachlan
Born January 28, 1968
Canadian musician, singer and songwriter
She is known for the emotional sound of her ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range. As of 2006, she has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards (out of three nominations) and eight Juno Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s
Sarah McLachlan was born on January 28, 1968(1968-01-28), and adopted in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a child, she took voice lessons, along with studies in classical piano and guitar. When she was 17 years old, and still a student at Queen Elizabeth High School, 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."
Following The October Game's first concert at Dalhousie University opening for Moev, McLachlan was offered a recording contract with Vancouver-based independent record label Nettwerk by Moev's Mark Jowett. McLachlan's parents persuaded her to finish her studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before embarking on a new life as a recording artist, and McLachlan finally signed to Nettwerk two years later before having written a single song.
In 1997, Sarah McLachlan married her drummer, Ashwin Sood, in Jamaica. McLachlan lost her mother to cancer in December 2001, while McLachlan herself was pregnant. McLachlan gave birth to a daughter, whom she named India Ann Sushil Sood, on April 6, 2002, in Vancouver. By this time, McLachlan had already completed three-quarters of the production on her next record, Afterglow. On June 24, 2007, she gave birth to her second daughter, Taja Summer Sood, in Vancouver. McLachlan announced her separation from Ashwin Sood in September 2008.
Touch and Solace
The signing prompted McLachlan to move to Vancouver, British Columbia. There she recorded the first of her albums, Touch, in 1988, which received both critical and commercial success and included the hit song "Vox". During this period she also contributed to an album by Moev, 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 all of McLachlan's albums and occasionally co-writing songs.
Tumbling Towards Ecstasy, Surfacing, and Lilith Fair
1993's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was an immediate smash hit in Canada. From her Nettwerk connection, her piano version of the song "Possession" was included on the first Due South soundtrack in 1996. Over the next two years, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy quietly became McLachlan's international breakthrough as well, scaling the charts in a number of countries.
In 1993, Darryl Neudorf filed a lawsuit against McLachlan and her label, Nettwerk, alleging that he had made a significant and uncredited contribution to the songwriting on Touch, and alleging that he wasn't paid properly for work done on Solace. The judge in this suit eventually ruled in McLachlan's favour on the songs; though Neudorf may have contributed to the songwriting, neither regarded each other as joint authors. The judge ruled in Neudorf's favour on the payment issue.
In 1994, she was sued by Uwe Vandrei, an obsessed fan from Ottawa, Ontario, who alleged that his letters to her had been the basis of the single "Possession".
The lawsuit was also challenging for the Canadian legal system—Vandrei was a self-admitted stalker whose self-acknowledged goal in filing the lawsuit was to be near McLachlan physically. Consequently, special precautions were planned to ensure McLachlan's safety if at any time she had to be in the same location as Vandrei. The lawsuit never came to trial, however, as Vandrei was found dead in an apparent suicide before the trial began. This topic was explored at length in Canadian author Judith Fitzgerald's book, Building A Mystery: The Story of Sarah McLachlan & Lilith Fair.
Following the success from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan returned in 1997 with Surfacing, her best selling album to date. Earning her two Grammy Awards and four Juno Awards, the album has since sold over 11 million copies worldwide and brought her much international success. Still in the spotlight from the album, McLachlan launched the highly popular Lilith Fair tour. Her song "Angel"—inspired by the fatal overdose of Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin—made sales skyrocket. 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 theaters, City of Angels: Music from the Motion Picture remained firmly entrenched among Billboard's top 40 albums. This soundtrack earned quadruple-platinum status.
The McLachlan-founded Lilith Fair tour brought together 2 million people over its three-year history and raised more than $7 million for charities. It was the most successful all-female music festival in history, one of the biggest music festivals of the 1990s, and helped launch the careers of several well-known female artists.
In 1998, in addition to performing her own set, she performed a cover of Sad Lisa with rock band Phish at the annual Bridge School Benefit concert in California, hosted by Neil Young, after which McLachlan began an extended period away from recording or touring. Six years would elapse between the release of Surfacing and that of her next studio album, Afterglow.
However, she did release a live album in 1999, entitled Mirrorball. The album's singles included a new live version of her earlier doubles "I Will Remember You," a studio recording of which had previously been released on The Brothers McMullen soundtrack as well as Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff.
Also that year, McLachlan recorded the Randy Newman song "When She Loved Me" on the Toy Story 2 soundtrack. This song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song in 2000, and McLachlan performed it at the awards ceremony, but the award went to "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan, written and recorded by Phil Collins.
In 1997, McLachlan co-wrote and provided guest vocals on the Delerium song "Silence" for their album Karma. This song achieved a massive amount of top 40 airplay when released as a single in late 2000 and also featured on the soundtrack for the movie Brokedown Palace. In 2001, McLachlan provided background vocals, guitar, and piano on the closing track "Love Is" from Stevie Nicks' eighth solo album, Trouble in Shangri-La, in addition to drawing the dragon used for the "S" in Stevie's name on the album cover. In May 2002, her duet with Bryan Adams was released on the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron soundtrack. She sang harmonies and played the piano on the song "Don't Let Go" while Sood did the drum work.
McLachlan also participated in several concerts during her break, such as Sheryl Crow's Live from Central Park in 1999, the Arista Records twenty-fifth anniversary celebration in 2000, as well as the 2002 British Columbia Cancer Foundation Benefit Concert in memory of cancer victim Michele Bourbonnais. She participated along with four other Canadian artists: Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Barenaked Ladies, and Chantal Kreviazuk.
In addition to being used often to remember human beings who have died in disasters like the September 11 attacks, McLachlan's song "Angel" also appears on the soundtrack near the end of Tribe Of Heart's 45-minute documentary DVD titled "The Witness". The scene shows people's reactions to videos shown by Eddie Lama from his van, of how animals are killed for use of their fur.
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.
Although she has returned to touring, she has no current plans to resurrect Lilith Fair. Another live album, Afterglow Live, was released in late 2004. 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 2004, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, who credits McLachlan and her music for lifting him from a period of depression, 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.
In early 2005, McLachlan took part in a star-studded tsunami disaster relief telethon on NBC. On January 29 McLachlan was a headliner for a benefit concert in Vancouver along with other Canadian superstars such as Avril Lavigne and Bryan Adams. The show also featured a performance by the Sarah McLachlan Musical Outreach Choir & Percussion Ensemble, a children's choir and percussion band from the aforementioned Vancouver outreach program. In addition to her own headliner show she also joined Delerium live on stage for their first-ever performance of 'Silence'. The concert was titled One World: The Concert for Tsunami Relief, and raised approximately $3.6 million for several Canadian aid agencies working in south and southeast Asia. The show was the brainchild of McLachlan's manager, Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk. It ran for four hours and aired live on CTV across Canada.
On July 2, 2005, McLachlan participated in the Philadelphia installment of the Live 8 concerts, where she performed her hit "Angel" with Josh Groban. These concerts, which were held simultaneously in nine major cities around the world, were intended to coincide with the G8 summit to put pressure on the leaders of the world's richest nations to fight poverty in Africa by cancelling debt.