Sarah McLachlan is a Canadian singer, musician, songwriter and pianist. She is best known for her beautiful, emotional ballads, and mezzo-soprano vocals. As of 2009 McLachlan has sold over forty million albums across the globe.
As a child, McLachlan took voice lessons, and also studied classical piano and guitar. When she was in high school, she fronted a band called The October Game, but this was short lived. McLachlan was offered a recording contract with a Vancouver based independent label, but her parents insisted that she finish school and at least some college before moving and beginning her career as a recording artist. Two years after originally being offered a contract, McLachlan took the offer and began recording for Nettwerk.
McLachlan released her first album through Nettwerk in 1988—it was titled Touch. It was well received and with it, McLachlan began to tour nationally. After, in 1991, McLachlan released Solace. It was an even bigger hit than her first album, though many would argue that the biggest thing to come from this album is her lasting connection and collaboration with Pierre Marchand.
In 1993, McLachlan released Fumbling Toward Ecstasy, which included the well-known song “Possession.” It was an immediate success, and many claim this album was McLachlan’s international breakthrough. This album, while successful, also brought McLachlan hardship. In 1994, a man by the name of Uwe Vandrei, sued McLachlan over the song “Possession.” Vandrei, an obsessed fan, claimed that he had written her letters that later became the inspiration for the song. Though many precautions were taken to make sure McLachlan was safe during the trial, Vandrei committed suicide before anything even began.
Her next album, Surfacing, came out in 1997. It is her most known and bestselling album of all. For this album, McLachlan won two Grammy Awards, one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and one for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. She also won four Juno awards, which include Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year.
It was during the success of this album that she launched her extremely popular Lilith Fair Tour. These tours continued for many years, showcasing female musicians on a scale never seen before.
McLachlan released Afterglow in 2003, and instead of using her budget to create music videos, she donated the money to charities around the world. In 2006, McLachlan released a Christmas album named Wintersong, which included a mix of new recordings and covers from artists such as John Lennon and Joni Mitchell. This album gifted her a Grammy nomination and another Juno Award for Pop Album of the Year.
In later years, McLachlan’s success did not fade—though she’s known for her music, she also took time to give to charities such as the ASPCA and other outreach programs. She also made appearances in dozens of television shows, and remembrance events such as when she sang to remember those who died on September 11th in Pennsylvania. Her song “One Dream,” was even the official theme of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Her most recent original music album Shine On was released in 2014, which was inspired by the death of her father. She won a Juno Aware for it. Following this, McLachlan released a Christmas album in 2015 and continues to tour nationally and perform her music for fans across the globe.