Kathryn Dawn Lang, OC (born November 2, 1961), known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress.
Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances; hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine". She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has teamed with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray and Jane Siberry. Lang is also known for being a vegan as well as an animal rights, gay rights, and Tibetan human rights activist. She is a tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, she had performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano.
Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT news magazine The Advocate, has actively championed gay rights causes.
She has supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. Her cover of Cole Porter's "So in Love" (from the Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate), appears on the Red Hot + Blue compilation album and video from 1990 (a tribute to Cole Porter to benefit AIDS research and relief). Her 2010 Greatest Hits album, Recollection, also includes this cover of "So in Love". Lang also recorded the song "Fado Hilario," singing in Portuguese, for the 1999 Red Hot AIDS benefit album "Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon," a traditional fado from Portugal.
She is an animal rights activist. Her "Meat Stinks" campaign created much controversy, particularly in her hometown, in the middle of Alberta's cattle ranching industry.
Lang appeared on the cover of the August 1993 issue of Vanity Fair. The cover featured Lang in a barber chair while model Cindy Crawford appeared to shave her face with a straight razor. The issue contained a detailed article about Lang which observed that she had thought that she would be ostracized by the country music industry when she came out as a lesbian. However, Nashville was accepting, and her records continued to sell. When she appeared in an ad for PETA however, Nashville was less impressed, owing to the relationship between country music and cattle ranching.
In April 2008, Lang spent time in Melbourne, Australia, as a guest editorialist for The Age. This was in connection with her support for the Tibet human rights issues. On April 24, 2008, she joined pro-Tibet protesters in Canberra as the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay made its way through the Australian capital. In 2011 Lang was inducted to Q Hall of Fame Canada in recognition of the work she has done to further equality for all people's around the world.
K. D. Lang : All You Get Is Me by Victoria Starr
Publisher: Random House; First Thus edition (1995)
Amazon: K. D. Lang : All You Get Is Me
Rare childhood photographs and behind-the-scenes interviews with family, friends, and industry peers give flesh to the first full-scale biography of the controversial performer-activist.
k.d. lang: Carrying the Torch by William Robertson
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (March 1, 1993)
Amazon: k.d. lang: Carrying the Torch
Since the release of her first album, a truly western experience in 1984, k.d. lang has galvanized listeners with her amazing voice, while battling for a place in the music industry and fighting off prejudice against her appearance and attitude. This compelling biography explores everything from her tomboy girlhood in Consort, Alberta, through her entry into show business and the making of her first five albums and her first film, to her move away from country music to easy listening jazz and adult-oriented pop.
K.D. Lang (Lives of Notable Gay Men & Lesbians) by Paula Martinac
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Chelsea House Publications (May 1996)
Amazon: K.D. Lang
A groundbreaking biography of the genderbending, Grammy Award-winning pop star whose unearthly voice has left millions of fans around the world with a "constant craving" for her music. Includes 40 photos.
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