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Lesbian History, Lesbian Celebrities, Lesbian Icons
lang (Kathryn Dawn Lang)
Life Span: Born
2nd November 1961, Edmonton, Canada
Star Sign: Scorpio
As: Canadian singer and songwriter
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
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
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.
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
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
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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