Sarah McLachlan

From Academic Kids

Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan

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. 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. 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 three-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 1990s, 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.

Missing image
Sarah McLachlan performing for Good Morning America in 1998

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 29 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 southeast Asia. The show was the brainchild of Sarah McLachlan's manager, Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk. It ran for four hours and aired live on CTV across Canada.

You can currently see her latest video "World On Fire" at It explains and illustrates how much money could be spent to help people aroud the world but instead is spent on the prouction of a typical music video.

On a number of occasions, McLachlan has also found herself in the news for other reasons:

  • In 1994, she was sued by Uwe Vandrei, an obsessed fan from Ottawa, Ontario, who alleged that his letters to her had been the basis of her hit single "Possession". This lawsuit never came to trial, however, as the plaintiff committed suicide before the trial began.
  • In 1998, McLachlan found herself vicariously connected to the Monica Lewinsky scandal surrounding former U.S. President Bill Clinton, when her song "Do What You Have to Do" was cited in Kenneth Starr's report as the subject of a letter from Lewinsky to Clinton.
  • Finally, in 1999, McLachlan and Nettwerk were sued by Darryl Neudorf, a Vancouver musician (and onetime member of 54-40) who alleged that he had made a significant and uncredited contribution to the songwriting on Touch. The judge in this suit ultimately ruled in McLachlan's favour. Link (

McLachlan's song "The Path of Thorns" was the 50 millionth song downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store. [1] ( Sarah has also sold an estimated 30 million albums world wide. After McLachlan's 2005 tour she plans to take another hiatus and have another baby.



  1. Vox (1988)
  2. Steaming (1990)
  3. The Path of Thorns (Terms) (1991)
  4. Into the Fire (1991)
  5. Drawn to the Rhythm (1992)
  6. Possession (1993)
  7. Hold On (1994)
  8. Good Enough (1994)
  9. I Will Remember You (1995)
  10. Building a Mystery (1997)
  11. Silence (1997) - Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan
  12. Sweet Surrender (1998)
  13. Adia (1998)
  14. Angel (1999)
  15. Fallen (2003)
  16. Stupid (2004)
  17. World on Fire (2004)
  18. Push [Live] (2005)


  1. Touch (1988)
  2. Touch [Reissue] (1989)
  3. Solace (1991)
  4. Live EP (1992)
  5. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993)
  6. The Freedom Sessions (1994) - one of the first enhanced CDs ever released, combining music with CD-ROM material.
  7. Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff (1996)
  8. Surfacing (1997)
  9. Mirrorball (1999)
  10. Remixed (2001) [US Release in (2003)]
  11. Afterglow (2003)
  12. Live Acoustic (2004)
  13. Afterglow Live (2004) - audio CD plus DVD.
  14. Remixed Vol 2 (2005) - not yet released

See also

External links


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