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Sarah McLachlan – The Emotional Songstress Behind the Hits

Sarah McLachlan‘s Profile Overview

Full Name Sarah Ann McLachlan
Birthday January 28, 1968 (age 55)
Birthplace Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, harp
Genres Pop, folk pop, soft rock
Career Highlights
  • Over 40 million albums sold worldwide
  • 3 Grammy Awards, 8 Juno Awards
  • Signature songs "Building a Mystery," "Angel," "I Will Remember You"
Spouse Ashwin Sood (m. 1997–2008)
Children 2 adopted daughters
Notable Activism Lilith Fair, female empowerment, foster care
Social Media

Sarah McLachlan is one of Canada‘s most renowned and influential musicians. With her sweeping ballads and soaring vocals, she has captivated global audiences for over 30 years. Read on for a deeper look at her life and enduring musical legacy.

Early Life & Classical Training

Sarah Ann McLachlan was born on January 28, 1968 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She became interested in music at a young age and started classical vocal lessons by age 7. McLachlan also studied classical piano and guitar as a child, in addition to harp.

As a preteen, McLachlan began performing with a Nova Scotian touring band. By 17, she was writing her own folk songs and playing clubs around Vancouver. McLachlan‘s early classical training and experience on stage developed the technical skills she would need for her future success.

Breakthrough Success in the 1990s

After self-releasing her debut album in 1988, McLachlan signed with Nettwerk Records. Her first international breakthrough came with 1991‘s Solace, which earned her a Juno Award for Best Female Vocalist.

McLachlan rose to fame with her third album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993). It was certified double platinum in Canada and earned her a Grammy nomination.

However, McLachlan‘s definitive mainstream success came with 1997‘s Surfacing. Propelled by the hits "Building a Mystery" and "Angel," it sold over 16 million copies globally. Surfacing won McLachlan two Grammys, including Best Pop Vocal Album.

During this period, McLachlan launched the Lilith Fair tour to highlight female artists. It was the top-grossing tour of 1997 and helped promote women in music.

Charity Work and Continued Acclaim

In 1999, McLachlan was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria for her support of women‘s causes. She also founded the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach program for youth music education.

McLachlan took a break from recording after the stressful tour for Surfacing. She focused on charity work and starting a family, adopting two daughters from Ethiopia.

She returned with the multi-platinum album Afterglow in 2003, winning another Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. McLachlan continued releasing acclaimed albums like Wintersong (2006) and Laws of Illusion (2010).

Legacy & Continued Impact

Known for her four-octave vocal range, McLachlan established herself as one of the most recognizable voices in pop music. Her introspective lyrics and folk-influenced melodies resonate deeply with listeners. She accompanies her soaring vocals on guitar and piano.

With over 40 million albums sold worldwide, McLachlan is one of the top-selling Canadian musicians ever. She has received numerous honors, including 25 Juno Award nominations and 8 wins.

McLachlan‘s success in the 1990s opened doors for many female singer-songwriters. Her creation of Lilith Fair brought more recognition to women in the industry. Though she keeps a low profile, her enduring songs and advocacy continue inspiring new generations of fans.

10 Fun Facts About Sarah McLachlan

  • She attended Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax.
  • McLachlan fronted a short-lived rock band called The October Game as a teen.
  • "Building a Mystery" reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  • She sang "When She Loved Me" for the Toy Story 2 soundtrack.
  • McLachlan married drummer Ashwin Sood in 1997 and divorced him in 2008.
  • She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2017.
  • McLachlan won her first Juno Award in 1991 for Solace.
  • She has been nominated for 26 Juno Awards in her career.
  • McLachlan adopted her daughters India and Taja in the early 2000s.
  • She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria in 1999.

For over 30 years, Sarah McLachlan has touched listeners worldwide with her moving ballads and distinctive voice. Though intensely private, her musical artistry and devotion to worthy causes make her one of Canada‘s national treasures.

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