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k.d. lang (Kathryn Dawn Lang)
Life Span: Born 2nd November 1961, Edmonton, Canada
Star Sign: Scorpio
Famous As: Canadian singer and songwriter

Childhood: Lang is of German, Jewish and Icelandic descent, among others. She grew up in the small town of Consort in Alberta after her family moved there in 1962. Her father, Adam Frederick Lang was a pharmacist, and her mother, Audrey, was a teacher.
When Lang was 12, her father left the family for another woman.
At school, she was talented in athletics and won several awards in javelin competitions. It was when she was starring in a school production about the life of Patsy Cline that she first started to explore country music and developed a great love of it.
Lang also showed talent as a pianist, guitarist and singer at this early age. When she graduated from high school in 1979, she began trying to build a career in music, scraping a living playing in country music venues in her homeland.

Work: Her first band, The Reclines (named partially after Patsy Cline) produced two albums; 'The Friday Dance Promenade', 1983, and 'Truly Western Experience', 1984.
She gained some success when she won the Canadian Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1985, and the following year was signed to an American record producer in Nashville, Tennessee. She began producing solo albums that same year, 3 in all between 1986 and 1992; 'Angel with a lariat', 'Shadowland' and 'Absolute torch and twang'. During this time, she was also asked to collaborate with Roy Orbison, in a reworking of his song 'Crying'.
While these works all sold well enough, Lang's 1992 album, 'Ingenue' was her first real success. It was a cross-over album between Country and Pop, and included her biggest single to that date 'Constant Craving'. It was claimed that many of her country fans felt alienated by the album, despite its critical acclaim.
Her career in the years after Ingenue saw her mainly working on film soundtracks for movies such as 'Even Cow Girls Get the Blues' and the closing song 'Surrender' for the Bond film 'Tomorrow Neve Dies'. She even starred in one these films, 'Salmonberries', though it received poor reviews. Her 1995 album 'All You Can Eat' was also poorly received, being a pop-focused departure from the country genre altogether.
She has achieved more success in recent years with her part in David Arnold's 'Shaken and Stirred' album, which featured various artists performing theme songs from the James Bond films, and a collaboration with Tony Bennett, 'A Wonderful World'.

Friends & Relationships: Lang's sexuality has been brought into question since she first began her career, with some country stations in the early 80s refusing to play her first singles with The Reclines as a result.
It was not until 1992 that she publicly came out, in an interview with 'The Advocate'. From that point on, rather than experiencing a negative reaction from the world's press, she became more and more newsworthy in a positive respect, paving the way for many more female musicians to be open about their own sexuality. Her coming out, it is said, seemed to create a kind of Lesbian Chic in the media spotlight.
She met and began a serious relationship with Leisha Hailey in 1996.

Greatest Achievements: Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals - for 'Crying' with Roy Orbison, Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1989 - for the album 'Absolute Torch and Twang', Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1992 - for 'Constant Craving', Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album in 2003 - for 'A Wonderful World' with Tony Bennett.
In 1996, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
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."

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