Sarah McLachlan, Artist of the Week
Runs June 16-20
Sarah McLachlan was born on January 28, 1968, and adopted in Halifax. She is a Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter. Known for her emotional ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range.
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 insisted she finish high school and complete one year of studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before moving to Vancouver and 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 1994 McLachlan was sued by Uwe Vandrei, an obsessed fan from Ottawa 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 she had to be in the same location as Vandrei at any time. But before the trial began, Vandrei was found dead in an apparent suicide.
In 1997, Sarah McLachlan married her drummer, Ashwin Sood, in Jamaica. While she was pregnant, she lost her mother to cancer in December 2001. She gave birth to daughter India Ann Sushil Sood in Vancouver on April 6, 2002, by which time she had already completed three quarters of the production on her next record, Afterglow. On June 22, 2007 she gave birth to her second daughter, Taja Summer Sood, in Vancouver. McLachlan announced her separation from Ashwin Sood in September 2008.
As of May 2014, McLachlan was dating former NHL player Geoff Courtnall. Sarah McLachlan currently resides in Vancouver.
McLachlan’s best-selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won two Grammy Awards (out of four nominations) and four Juno Awards. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians on a scale that had never been attempted before. The Lilith Fair concert tours took place from 1997 to 1999, and resumed in the summer of 2010.
On May 6, 2014, McLachlan announced the release of her next studio album, Shine On, which was inspired by the death of her father. It will be her first release on Verve Records, after leaving Nettwerk/Artista after over twenty years
Some Awards and achievements
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.
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, Sarah was recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta
McLachlan also funds an outreach program in Vancouver that provides music education for inner city children
She supports the ASPCA by appearing in advertisements. She filmed a two-minute advertisement for the organization which featured her song “Angel”.[