skip navigation
K.D. Lang

K.D. Lang

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas... Join the whole Playhouse gang for one of the wackiest Christmas specials ever,... more info $6.95was $6.95 Buy Now

Also Known As: Kathryn Dawn Lang Died:
Born: November 2, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Consort, Alberta, CA Profession: singer, songwriter, composer, performance artist, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Before she became an elegant chanteuse, k.d. lang (short for Kathryn Dawn Lang) was a wilfully odd performance artist: During her early days in Edmonton, Alberta circa 1982-83, she performed at least one staged heart transplant at a music club. At the same time she fell under the spell of Patsy Cline and her first band the Reclines were originally a purely cover band. By the time she debuted in America, with the Dave Edmunds-produced Angel With a Lariat in 1987, she'd had a five-year career in Canada and developed into a skilled country singer. Though the Edmunds album had its tongue-in-cheek moments, the next album, 1988's Shadowland was a sincere roots homage, produced by Owen Bradley who had worked closely with Cline. The same year she appeared on Roy Orbison's Cinemax special, A Black & White Night, doing a well-received duet on "Crying." At the time lang's spiky-haired, androgynous look was proudly out of sync with her traditionally-styled music; she came out as a lesbian in a magazine interview in 1992. She stepped away from country music with 1992's Ingenue, a romantic pop album that was her most successful (winning her a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Pop Performance) and in many fans' view...

Before she became an elegant chanteuse, k.d. lang (short for Kathryn Dawn Lang) was a wilfully odd performance artist: During her early days in Edmonton, Alberta circa 1982-83, she performed at least one staged heart transplant at a music club. At the same time she fell under the spell of Patsy Cline and her first band the Reclines were originally a purely cover band. By the time she debuted in America, with the Dave Edmunds-produced Angel With a Lariat in 1987, she'd had a five-year career in Canada and developed into a skilled country singer. Though the Edmunds album had its tongue-in-cheek moments, the next album, 1988's Shadowland was a sincere roots homage, produced by Owen Bradley who had worked closely with Cline. The same year she appeared on Roy Orbison's Cinemax special, A Black & White Night, doing a well-received duet on "Crying." At the time lang's spiky-haired, androgynous look was proudly out of sync with her traditionally-styled music; she came out as a lesbian in a magazine interview in 1992. She stepped away from country music with 1992's Ingenue, a romantic pop album that was her most successful (winning her a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Pop Performance) and in many fans' view her best. Its upbeat finale "Constant Craving" became her signature song, and also won a bit of notoriety when the Rolling Stones' 1997 single "Anybody Seen My Baby?" was deemed to have a similar tune; lang and cowriter Ben Mink ultimately shared the writing credit with Jagger and Richards. She followed Ingenue with a film soundtrack, for Gus Van Sant's "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" (1993), and a string of semi-conceptual albums: Cigarette songs on 1997's Drag, sunshine pop on 2000's Invincible Summer. She remained enough of a mainstream success that Tony Bennett invited her for a duets album, 2002's A Wonderful World, devoted to the romantic side of the Louis Armstrong catalogue. By now lang was gravitating to singer-songwriter material, often recording with other female artists (including Medeleine Peyroux and Jane Siberry). 2004's Hymns of the 49th Parallel was devoted to Canadian songwriters and included one of the first major covers of Leonard Cohen's now-ubiquitous "Hallelujah." She would later sing it at Cohen's memorial in Quebec in 2017. lang remained politically active, supporting animal rights and gay issues. 2008 brought Watershed, her first solo album in eight years and last as of 2018., though 2011's Sing It Loud found her fronting a new band, the Siss Boom Bang In 2016 she formed a songwriter's supergroup with Neko Case and Laura Viers. The trio's first album, case/lang/viers, marked her return to alternative country.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
4.
 Teresa's Tattoo (1994)
5.
 Salmonberries (1991)
8.
 Roadie Chefs II (2001) Host
9.
 Equality Rocks (2000)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1992:
Publicly "came out" as a lesbian in an interview with <i>The Advocate</i>, a magazine targeted to a gay and lesbian audience
1997:
TV acting debut in the CBS miniseries "The Last Don"
1988:
Wrote the film score for "Walking After Midnight" with her band, the re-clines
1993:
Engendered controversy when she participated in a "Meat Stinks" advertising campaign sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
1990:
Starred in "So in Love" music video (directed by Percy Adlon) for the "Red, Hot & Blue" TV special and disc
1994:
With longtime collaborator Ben Mink, wrote the music for Gus Van Sant's "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"
2000:
Cast in a supporting role in the feature "Eye of the Beholder" (filmed in 1998), alongside Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd
1997:
Made cameo appearance on the "coming out" episode of "Ellen"
:
While in college, began career as a performance artist
1993:
Garnered further publicity when she posed for the cover of <i>Vanity Fair</i> sitting in a barber's chair with Cindy Crawford giving lang a shave
1991:
Made film acting debut in "Salmonberries", directed by Adlon
2002:
Recorded duet album with Tony Bennett
2016:
Began collaboration with Neko Case and Laura Viers
2017:
Sang "Hallelujah" at Leonard Cohen memorial in Quebec
:
Formed band k d lang and the re-clines, a country and western band
:
Known for such albums as "Ingenue" and "Hymns Of The 49th Parallel"
:
Popular songs include "Constant Craving" and "Hallelujah".
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"My criteria to make a good record is something you can fuck to, something you can cook to, something you can listen to in the morning, and something you can drive to. If you can do all those things to an album, it's a good album." --k d lang in Out, December 1995/January 1996.

"Early in my country career, I was almost considered a novelty act, but that wackiness was a result of the fact I was so hyper about going that I was ready to burst. I'd already been in this small town and I was just ready! But when I realized people weren't paying attention to my voice I became determined to prove myself as a singer and the wackiness started to subside. My interest in extreme approaches to performing is still there, but it's a fine line between contriving something and not holding yourself back when you feel like doing something offbeat." --lang to Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1995.

"If you make me into an icon, there are certain things I should be able to say. Number 1: I do NOT represent the whole lesbian and gay community. I represent one lesbian. Number 2: I am foremost an artist--I HAPPEN to be a lesbian and a vegetarian. Role models should be your dog or your best friend--not celebrities" --lang quoted in Details, November 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Leisha Hailey. Musician. With the band the Murmurs.
companion:
Guinevere Turner. Actor, screenwriter. Linked romantically in the press but neither will confirm relationship.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Lang. Drug store owner. Left lang's mother for another woman c. 1974; lang did not see her father for eight years until a chance meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.
mother:
Audrey Lang. Teacher.
sister:
Keltie Lang. Older; born c. 1955; also disclosed her homosexuality.

Bibliography close complete biography

"k d lang: Carrying the Torch" ECW Press
"k d lang: an illustrated biography" Omnibus Press
"k d lang: All You Get Is Me" Random House of Canada
"k d lang" Chelsea House Publishers
"k d lang"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute