Sarah Ann McLachlan (born January 28, 1968) is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter. She is widely recognized for founding Lilith Fair, a tour which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s.
Sarah McLachlan was born and adopted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. As a child, she took voice lessons, along with studies in classical piano and guitar. When she was just 17 years old, she fronted a new wave band, October Game. Her high school yearbook claimed that she was "destined to become a famous rock star."
In 1988, she was the first artist signed by the independent Canadian record label Nettwerk. She was signed before she had penned a single song. The signing prompted McLachlan to move to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. There she recorded the first of her albums, Touch, in 1988, which received both critical and commercial success and included the hit song "Vox". Her 1991 album, Solace, was her mainstream breakthrough in Canada, spawning the hit singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire".
1993's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was an immediate smash hit in Canada. Over the next two years, it quietly became Sarah's international breakthrough as well, scaling the charts in a number of countries and setting the stage for 1997's Surfacing, which debuted at the top of the charts amid the hype around Lilith Fair. The Sarah-founded Lilith Fair tour brought together 2 million people over its 3 year history and raised more than $7 million for charities. It was the most successful all-female music festival in history, one of the biggest music festivals of the 90's, and helped launch the careers of several well known female artists.
Sarah has been extensively profiled by media including cover stories for Rolling Stone, Time magazine and Entertainment Weekly. She was awarded the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award in 1998 for advancing the careers of women in music.
On February 7, 1997, she married Ashwin Sood, her longtime drummer, in Negril, Jamaica. Lilith Fair debuted in Vancouver that same year, after which McLachlan began an extended period away from recording or touring. She did, however, participate in the 2002 British Columbia Cancer Foundation Benefit Concert in memory of cancer victim Michele Bourbonnais. She participated along with four other Canadian artists, Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Barenaked Ladies and Chantal Kreviazuk.She returned to public life and touring with her 2003 album release, Afterglow, although she has no current plans to resurrect Lilith Fair.
Known for the emotional sound of her ballads, some of her popular songs include "Angel," "Building a Mystery," "Adia," "Possession," and "I Will Remember You." Her best selling album to date is Surfacing, for which she won multiple Grammy Awards and four Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent to the Grammy's). Through her career, she has also received many other awards, primarily in recognition of her efforts in launching Lilith Fair. In 1999, she was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her successful recording career, her role in Lilith Fair, and the charitable donations she made to women's shelters across Canada. McLachlan also funds an outreach program in Vancouver providing music education for inner city children.
During Sarah's hiatus in her recording career, she lost her mother to cancer in December, 2001, while Sarah herself was pregnant. Sarah gave birth to a daughter, named India, on April 6, 2002, in Vancouver. She had already completed three-quarters of the Afterglow record production.
In early 2005 McLachlan took part in a star-studded Tsunami disaster relief telethon on NBC. On January 29th Sarah was a headliner for a benefit concert in Vancouver along with other Canadian superstars such as Avril Lavigne. The show also featured a performance by the Sarah McLachlan Musical Outreach Choir & Percussion Ensemble; a children's choir and percussion band from the Vancouver outreach program that Sarah provides funding for. The concert was titled One World: The Concert for Tsunami Relief, and raised approximately $3.6 million for several Canadian aid agencies working in South and South-East Asia. The show was the brainchild of Sarah McLachlan's manager, Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk. It ran for 4 hours and aired live on CTV across Canada.
On a number of occasions, McLachlan has also found herself in the news for other reasons:
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