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Canadian singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan has carved out a place for herself as one of the most respected and influential adult contemporary artists to emerge in the 90s. She has gained fans from around the world due to her emotive balladry and unique vocal range.
McLachlan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 28 January 1968 and was adopted shortly after. During her early childhood she took vocal lessons and studied piano and guitar classically. At the age of 17 she fronted her high school band The October Game. The group had moderate success with their song “Grind” and gained immediate recognition during their first concert opening for the New Wave group Moev. Moev’s guitarist Mark Jowett was so impressed with McLachlan’s performance that he offered her a recording contract with Vancouver-based independent label Nettwerk.
Honoring her parent wishes McLachlan finished up high school and attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design for one year before signing the contract with Nettwerk. Once she signed on with Nettwerk she issued her 1988 debut album “Touch”, which was both a critical and commercial success. Following it’s release she went on her first international tour supporting the band The Grapes of Wrath.
Her next studio album “Solace” came out in 1991 and is recognized as her breakthrough album into the Canadian mainstream. This album contained the hit tracks “The Path of Thorns (Terms)” and “Into the Fire”. This album was also the first of many projects to feature her long time collaborative partner Pierre Marchand.
“Solace” made McLachlan a star in Canada selling up to 200,000 copies; however, it was her follow up “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” that would make her an international craze. The album featured the hit single “Possession” and the UK and Japanese editions included a cover of “Blue” by fellow Canadian musician Joni Mitchell.
McLachlan launched her career into new territories with her 1997 album “Surfacing”. This release is her highest selling and most revered album to date and has won her numerous accolades. In 1998 she was awarded two Grammys: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Building a Mystery” and Best Pop Instrumental Performance for “Last Dance”. McLachlan also won 4 Juno awards with this album and has since sold over 16 million copies. This album also features her biggest single “Angel”, a song dedicated to keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, who had overdosed on heroin while touring with the Smashing Pumpkins for their album “Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness”.
McLachlan took a break from recording to focus on her family and her charity campaign (an organization which provided funding to disadvantageous children for music lessons). Her next studio album “Afterglow” did not come out until 6 years after “Surfacing”, but was a commercial success reaching No.1 on the Canadian album charts, No. 2 on the US Billboard 200, and no. 33 in the UK.
In 2004 McLachlan came out with the live album “Afterglow Live” and in 2006 she issued the Christmas album “Wintersong”, which contained eclectic covers such as John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and Joni Mitchell’s “River”. Her christmas offering received a Grammy nomination and debuted at No. 42 on Billboard 200 eventually reaching the No. 7 spot.
In 2008 McLachlan put out both a greatest hits album “Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan” and a rarities collection album “ B-Sides and Other Stuff Volume 2”. 7 years after the release of “Afterglow” she issued her proper studio follow up “Laws of Illusion”. This album proved that McLachlan still had not lost her stride. It debuted at No. 2 on the Canadian album charts and No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
Inspired by the death of her father McLachlan released her 2014 album “Shine On”. It was her first album issued through Verve Records and following its release she embarked on a tour spanning across 30 cities.